2007 April

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

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updated: 2020-08-06

  "'4 great beasts... from the sea, diverse one from another' who ruled the earth until that kingdom was finally recaptured by 'one like the Son of man' who would rule on for eternity.   Daniel 7:3,13 in Daniel, according to plaintiff's interpretation, the beasts are explicitly political powers who prevail for a time against the forces of God.   Daniel 7:24-27.   The 'Son of man' who will ultimately conquer these forces is, according to plaintiff's contention, the predicted Messiah of the Jews...   The original model for the Antichrist, Antioches Epiphanes, was king of Syria from 175 to 163 BC...   [Antichrist] has always [meant] the threat & destruction to human liberty & life." --- judge Weinstein 1977-03-03 in Stevens v Berger 428 FS 896 @903  

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  "In the 2nd article, it is declared, that a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state; a proposition from which few will dissent.   Although in actual war, the services of regular troops are confessedly more valuable; yet, while peace prevails, & in the commencement of a war before a regular force can be raised, the militia form the palladium of the country.   They are ready to repel invasion, to suppress insurrection, & preserve the good order & peace of gov't.   That they should be well regulated, is judiciously added.   A disorderly militia is disgraceful to itself, & dangerous not to the enemy, but to its own country.   The duty of the state gov't is, to adopt such regulations as will tend to make good soldiers with the least interruption of the ordinary & useful occupation of civil life.   In this all the Union has a strong & visible interest.   The corollary, from the 1st position, is, that the right of the people to keep & bear arms shall not be infringed.   The prohibition is general.   No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people.   Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature.   But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both...   This right ought not, however, in any gov't, to be abused to the disturbance of the peace.   An assemblage of persons with arms, for an unlawful purpose, is an indictable offence, & even the carrying of arms abroad by a single individual, attended with circumstances giving just reason to fear that he purposes to make an unlawful use of them, would be sufficient cause to require him to give surety of the peace.   If he refused he would be liable to imprisonment." --- William Rawle 1829 2nd ed. _A View of the Constitution_ pp 125-126 (quoted in Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pp 69-70)  




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

2007 April

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



Dino Perrotti _Computer World_
Round 6 of the H-1B battle: Who are the worst April Fools?

Tom Abate & Ralph Hermansson _San Francisco Chronicle_
Tech firms scramble for cheap-labor visas

Jonathan Gaw _Minneapolis Star Tribune_
By the numbers

2007-04-01 11:00PDT (14:00EDT) (18:00GMT)
_On Milwaukee_
Wisconsin AG J.B. van Hollen proposes medical testing of illegal aliens
"Van Hollen's idea? Beginning July 1, the [Medical College of Wisconsin] and other research facilities will begin performing medical tests on illegal immigrants.   'The key word in ''illegal immigrant'' is ''illegal''.', Van Hollen said.   'I have tremendous respect for the immigrant community, but I also have respect for the law.   By coming here to pick crops and clean hotel rooms for low wages, these people are breaking the law and they should be punished...' "

2007-04-01 14:08:17PDT (17:08:17EDT) (21:08:17GMT)
Diane Stafford _Silicon Valley_
Candidate/job matching process has been broken
"Instead of reading your re`sume`, an employer may ask you to fill out an online form or take an online test that measures how well you fit the job, based on responses from successful workers.   Mountain View-based Google, for example, uses a screening program to measure applicants' attitudes, behaviors, personality and biographical details.   Answers are scrunched in a formula that creates a score, indicating how well the candidate is likely to fare on the job.   'It's getting harder to sell yourself for a job you think you're qualified for.', said SM, a 48-year-old job hunter from Lenexa, KS, who's been surprised at all the electronic hoops he's had to jump through before nabbing interviews.   In most cases, he said, 'You're just able to post on-line.'...   Some employers don't even want [resumes] in digitized format.   They prefer customized online forms, tailor-made to cull the applicant field.   Some human-resources gurus suggest the personal interview could be next on the endangered-species list."

Terri Ferguson _Greenville Delta Democrat Times_
Bennie Thompson blasts companies that hire illegal aliens
"U.S. representative Bennie Thompson, D-MS, chairman of Homeland Security, was in Greenville Friday and was asked about the arrests of 76 alleged illegal immigrants, including 35 who had been working with companies contracted to build the new U.S. 82 Greenville Bridge.   'They could be from anywhere.', Thompson said.   'It's unfortunate that a contractor would use illegal labor when we have so many people in this area who need and want to work.'   Thompson said invariably these cases bring to light the low wages being paid to illegal immigrants and, in this instance, a company is being charged with falsifying [Socialist Insecurity] numbers as well as immigration forms."

Barbara Vickroy _Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star_
California shows effects of illegal alien invasion
"Our immigration-driven population grew by 4M in the past decade, and at current rates will increase by 6M at the next census.   In spite of that population increase, more than 80 emergency rooms closed because of non-paying patients.   California's prisons are bursting at the seams, with the nation's highest recidivism rate.   We have the highest teen-birth and school drop-out rates.   Of our 6.5M students, 2.5M are in Limited English Proficient classes (California has one third of the nation's total LEP students).   Even though we passed a citizen initiative making English the state's language, our out-of-control legislators have held debates in the capitol in Spanish.   The FBI estimates that half of the more than 100K gangsters in Los Angeles County are deportable illegal aliens who out-gun the police."

Howard Goodman _Know Gangs_
Gangs braced by illegal aliens
Florida Sun-Sentinel
"South Florida's population includes a large -- seemingly growing -- number of young people from impoverished backgrounds who don't have the skills to succeed in school.   If you can't read by the third grade, she said, the chances are good you will drop out of school as a teenager.   For many such kids, the street is the logical next step.   In fact, education is so important that we use third-grade reading scores to predict the future prison population...   Some of the most violent gangs operating in our area define themselves along national lines.   Top 6, whose members were targeted in Tuesday's blood-bath in Lake Worth, is largely Haitian.   MS-13, a mega-gang with a lot of subgroups, began in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador before spreading to Los Angeles, then to Fairfax, VA, and on to Florida.   In the past couple of years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested more than 4K violent gang members nationwide. They're prosecuted, deported or both.   Last year, state senator Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, got money for the Department of Juvenile Justice to track, for the first time, the citizenship status of juveniles convicted of serious crimes."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Re: long SF Chroncile article on H-1B by Tom Abate
"Yes, as professor Hira has shown, H-1B is indeed used as a vehicle to facilitate off-shoring.   However, although this is definitely important, it is a secondary usage of the visa.   The primary usage is to import cheap labor to work here, so the above passage is somewhat misleading from my point of view...   Professor Hira's work consists of a lot more than simply looking at per-country H-1B counts and hearing anecdotes from American workers.   He has done a thorough academic study of the use of H-1B (and the L-1 work visa as well) to facilitate off-shoring.   See R. Hira 'U.S. Immigration Regulations and India's Information Technology Industry' _Technological Forecasting & Social Change_ 2004.   BTW, the congressionally commissioned National Research Council study, which included interviews with employers, found the same thing.   (National Research Council _Building a Work-force for the Information Economy_ National Academies Press, 2001, p.185.)...   The reader -- and much more importantly, the member of Congress -- is supposed to make the inference that there is 'something wrong' with Americans for not pursuing graduate study.   But the truth is very different...   most of the H-1Bs don't have graduate degrees.   But concerning the cited statistic, what the lobbyist isn't telling you is that this high percentage of foreign graduate students was a PLANNED GOAL OF THE H-1B PROGRAM.   The governmental National Science Foundation, in pushing Congress to establish the H-1B program back in 1989, explicitly stated that PhD salaries in science and engineering were too high, and advocated bringing in foreign students to hold down wages.   It also stated that a consequence of this would be that Americans would not find PhD study financially attractive and thus would not pursue it.   The NSF stated
A growing influx of foreign PhDs into U.S. labor markets will hold down the level of PhD salaries to the extent that foreign students are attracted to U.S. doctoral programs as a way of immigrating to the U.S.A.   A related point is that for this group the PhD salary premium is much higher [than it is for Americans], because it is based on BS-level pay in students' home nations versus PhD-level pay in the U.S.A...   [If] doctoral studies are failing to appeal to a large (or growing) percentage of the best citizen baccalaureates, then a key issue is pay...   A number of [the Americans] will select alternative career paths...   For these baccalaureates, the effective premium for acquiring a PhD may actually be negative.
And it worked just like the NSF wanted.   The H-1B program was enacted by Congress in 1990 and implemented in 1991.   Consider this: Since 1996, starting salaries for new PhDs in computer science have gone up about 30%.   Meanwhile, starting salaries for new law school graduates have gone up 100%...   Again, this was a planned consequence of H-1B.   Recently the industry has been asking for another work visa aimed at foreign graduates of U.S. universities.   (It was called F-4 when proposed in the last Congress, but in the new [Flake-Gutierrez] Act introduced last week in Congress, it has a different name.)   Given that H-1B itself was used to make graduate [work] unattractive to Americans, creating a visa specially for foreign students would be absolutely unconscionable.   I wonder how many members of Congress know that suppression of wages was one of the original goals of H-1B.   For that matter, how many know that former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan just last month stated the same thing (and he said it more generally, not just for PhDs).   Bloomberg News reported on March 14:
Allowing more skilled workers into the country would bring down the salaries of top earners in the United States, easing tensions over the mounting wage gap, Greenspan said.   'Our skilled wages are higher than anywhere in the world.', he said.   'If we open up a significant window for skilled workers, that would suppress the skilled-wage level and end the concentration of income.'..."
The quota was not fully used at its peak, but it is definitely true that H-1B usage increased AFTER the dot-com bust.   In 2001, 163K H-1B visas were issued, a big increase from the year before.   See the very appropriately titled article 'Industry Down-Turn Hasn't Killed Tech's Big Appetite for Top Talent' _Los Angeles Times_ 2001 December 9...   the dirty little secret about H-1B is that it is used to avoid hiring older (age 40+) U.S. citizens and permanent residents.   When the employers run out of young Americans to hire, they hire young H-1Bs (in addition to the many employers who don't even hire the young Americans).   Ironically, because the H-1B cap was reached so quickly this year, the market for American programmers is not too bad -- if they're young.   But once Congress ups the cap this year, even many of the young ones will suddenly run into brick walls.   Let's look at... Meebo.   They've got pictures of all their staff, and all the engineers are clearly young.   Then look at their opening for a C/C++ programmer.   They want '3-5+ years of C/C++ software development experience on Linux/Unix'.   That's very typical.   The industry wants people with 3-7 years of experience -- and typically not more than that.   Beyond that, people are just too expensive.   The job description is filled with what might be taken to be code words for 'young'...   Some of you may be interested in reading Meebo CEO Sternberg's rant against the H-1B cap in his blog.   Nice to see attorney Gupta's candor about the non-shortage, shown above...
the people who come to the United States on temporary work permits with the hope of getting permanent residency and find themselves trapped.   'If they later on apply for a green card, they tend to stay with the same employer because if you chance changing employers during that time, you have to start all over again.', she said, adding, 'They get locked in.'
Yes, absolutely, and it is that trapped status that makes them exploitable.   If you can't freely move around in the labor market, you're not going to command as high a salary.   And the employers WANT it that way, both to keep salaries down and to avoid the disruption that comes to a project when someone jumps ship.   Indeed, immediately after that legislation was enacted [in 2000], immigration attorney Jose Latour hastened to assure nervous employers that things would indeed continue to be business as usual in terms of indentured servitude.   An employer had asked him, 'Won't this [new bill] mean that H-1B employees will start jumping from job to job more often?'   Latour answered that there may be some reduction in green card time, but assured the employers that 'the labor [certification] process [still] requires a trusting relationship between employer and employee...   the need for stable employment for the realization of permanent residency remains unchanged', i.e. H-1Bs will continue to need to stick with their employers for the several years while the green card is pending.   Durbin's bill is apparently [a watered-down version of] the one introduced by representative Bill Pascrell of NJ in the last session.   Pascrell's bill never even got to committee, and thus it would not be surprising at all to see the same thing happen to Durbin's bill."

  "9 Roads to GroupThink: 1. There is some truth to the old line that 'power can go to your head'...   2. The higher you are promoted in an organization, the more insulated you can become from the realities of people at lower levels & on the outside.   Because the prevailing values of the organization affect who is promoted & who isn't, a natural screening process takes place so that only the same kind of people make it to the top...   3. When groups are homogeneous, it is hard to avoid stereo-typing the 'opposition'...   4. You might think that the more the group develops mutual trust & a sense of togetherness, the more individual members would feel free to voice disapproval openly...   People who harbor genuine doubts will put a lid on them; they rationalize that if they raise objectiosn this would only complicate the group's work...   5. As a group grows together, it develops a common set of beliefs.   Any one who challenges these beliefs may be regarded as a disrupter, & pressure will be placed on him or her to step into line...   6. when the membership of a group involves a senior executive & staff, loyalty & support some times are offered as another reason for not criticizing the prevailing views...   7. Where there is great eagernes for concurrence in a group, indications of disagreement may be ignored...   8. GroupThink often develops when a group is under great pressure to make a decision...   9. Finally, once a decision has been made by groupthink, there seems to be an unspoken pact not to challenge the leader or the decision, even if there are warnings that the decision is not working." --- Michael Doyle & David Straus 1982 _How To Make Meetings Work_ pp 168-170  



_Los Angeles Times_
Tom Tancredo & Fred Thompson officially announced run for presidency
The Hill
USA Today
News Max
Denver Business Journal
Congressional Quarterly politics
Guardian Unlimited

Elinor Emmick _Star-Gazette_
Federal income extortion is an evil joke
"The 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913 and created the federal income tax.   It made slaves of all of us.   It [after statutory revision during WW2] gave the government the power to take from our earnings before we even received them.   It takes from the rich and the poor and every hard-working person in between.   Why the American people continue to put up with this questionable amendment that rules their lives and fortunes is beyond me.   We now have an announced presidential candidate, U.S. representative Ron Paul of Texas, who is committed to eliminating this horror.   He deserves your whole-hearted support."

_Zee News India_
SAARC moots trade agreement in services
"In India, services contribute 56% of GDP.   Even in countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives services such as tourism, banking, telecom and financial sector are becoming an important engine of growth."

_USA Today_
Enzyme converts A & B & AB blood to type O by removing sugars from surface of blood cells
Kansas City Star
Sydney Morning Herald

2007-04-02 14:33PDT (17:33EDT) (21:33GMT)
Liz Moyer _Forbes_
Mergers and Acquisitions roared as many public stock firms were taken private
"Deal engines roared in the first 3 months of the year, punctuated by a record $197G worth of mergers arranged by private equity groups in a trend toward public companies seeking the shelter of private ownership...   Global mergers and acquisitions surpassed the trillion dollar mark, to $1.2T, in the first quarter, according to Dealogic, pushed by Porsche's $96T offer for Volkswagon, which is the fifth-largest deal ever recorded.   The quarter saw a 23% increase in deal activity from the same period in 2006."

Burt Herman & Kwang-Tae Kim _Chicago Sun-Times_
US and South Korean negotiators reach agreement on trade: Mixed response from congress, public
Houston Chronicle
Boston Globe
San Diego Union-Tribune
Business Week
Swiss info
Kansas City Star/Detroit Free Press
Kansas City Star
composite: "The deal, which requires approval by law-makers in both countries, is the biggest for the United States since the North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 1994.   It is the largest ever for South Korea.   South Korea and the U.S. agreed to eliminate and lower tariffs and other trade barriers in a wide range of industrial goods and services, including financial services.   The agreement also covered sectors such as e-commerce.   'The free trade agreement we are announcing today is a historic accomplishment.', Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Karan Bhatia told reporters...   South Korea, under pressure from farmers who were worried that eliminating protections for rice would destroy the domestic industry, succeeded in keeping the staple food out of the deal.   But Seoul agreed to lower tariffs on other agricultural goods, including American oranges.   South Korea promised to eliminate tariffs and other restrictions on imported cars which include an 8% tariff, a tax on engine size and restrictions on parts.   The U.S. will eliminate its lower tariff on South Korean cars over 3 years and a larger one on pickup trucks over 10 years.   South Korean auto-makers sold 730,863 vehicles in the United States in 2005, while American auto companies sold only 5,795 in South Korea, according to Commerce Department figures.   Last year, U.S. automakers and their foreign brands sold 7,165 vehicles in South Korea; Korean auto-makers sold about 1.2M vehicles at home and 800,692 cars and trucks in the United States.   All foreign auto-makers in South Korea sold just 40,530 vehicles in 2006.   It will phase out duties on bigger engines within 3 years, on tires within 5 years and on pick-up trucks within 10.   South Korea exported $6.6G a year in automobiles to the U.S.A. between 2003 and 2005.   Auto part exports [to the U.S.A.] during the same period averaged $1.4G annually.   'As a company that operates and competes in 200 markets globally, we see the real and tangible benefits of free trade.   Unfortunately this agreement, as we understand it, will not open the Korean market to free trade in automobiles.', said Steve Biegun, vice president for international governmental affairs at Ford.   'We have been working with the Administration since the beginning of the talks to reduce barriers to the Korean auto market, which is the most closed market in the industrialized world.', a Daimler-Chrysler spokes-person said.   'we will not support this agreement as we currently understand it.'   Earlier this month, representative Sander Levin (D-MI), chair of the House Ways & Means Trade sub-committee, had proposed that USTR offer South Korea a tariff-rate quota that would grant a zero tariff for a number of autos that would grow only as U.S. auto exports to South Korea increased in the future.   Trade between the two nations was worth almost $77G in 2006, according to South Korea's Commerce Ministry.   A free-trade agreement may boost U.S. exports to Asia's third-largest economy by as much as $19G annually, while South Korea stands to get a $10G jump in exports to the U.S.A., according to the U.S. International Trade Commission.   South Korean farmers and laborers, worried their jobs would be threatened by an agreement, took to the streets of the South Korean capital in the last week to protest against the possible deal.   South Korean cattle farmers are especially concerned since the deal would phase out over 15 years the 40% restrictive tariffs on U.S. beef imports into South Korea, and similarly reduce the tariff on pork over 10 years.   South Korea wanted goods produced in Kaesong [North Korea] included in the pact, while the U.S.A. refused and expressed concern about the unmonitored money it could be funneling to the Pyongyang regime for possible weapons development."

US electronics supplier arrested for allegedly exporting missile technology to India
"Working with Indian government officials, Cirrus Electronics founder Parthasarathy Sudarshan ordered computer equipment from U.S. manufacturers using falsified documents about their destination, federal prosecutors said.   The parts were allegedly shipped to India through Cirrus offices in South Carolina and Singapore.   Prosecutors say that between 2003 and 2006, Sudarshan was buying the equipment for three Indian government agencies: the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, which researches spacecraft and ballistic missiles, Bharat Dynamics Ltd., a key agency in the nation's guided missile program, and the Aeronautical Development Establishment, which is developing the Tejas combat jet.   The U.S. Commerce Department restricts exports to these agencies.   The equipment included heat-resistant memory chips, microprocessors, capacitors and semiconductors used in missile guidance systems and firing systems, according to a federal indictment unsealed recently."

2007-04-02 08:14PDT (11:14EDT) (15:14GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
ISM factory index fell from 52.3% in February to 50.9% in March

Gary Becker _Chicago Booth News_
Benefits of Setting a Price for Immigration (text, photo & audio)

  "Although housing tax incentives are good for those who already own homes, they push home ownership further & further out of reach of those who do not.   A tax break on mortgage interest simply raises the price that people are willing to pay for homes.   Almost every home buyer remembers stretching the budget to buy the most house, with the pain softened by the real estate agent's reminder that all that interest was deductible.   Under the old tax law prevailing before 1987, Uncle Sam picked up 40% to 50% of the interest payments for most home buyers; they could thus afford to pay more for a home, & the price of housing was pushed up.   Oddly enough, tax advantages for home owners are often most favored by liberal Democrats in the name of fairness.   They fail to recognize that the incentives for home ownership favor high income [tax-victims] over low income [tax-victims].   That is, they are regressive.   The benefit of tax deductibility is directly related to tax bracket.   Those in the 50% bracket had Uncle Sam 'paying' 50% of their mortgage interest costs, while those low income individuals in the 15% bracket, if they even bothered to itemize... had the gov't 'paying' only 15% of their mortgage interest costs." --- John H. Makin & Norman J. Ornstein 1994 _Debt & Taxes_ pg 201  



Ephraim Schwartz _InfoWorld_/_IDG_
H-1B reform bill seeks stricter enforcement

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Senate H-1B bill seeks to give U.S. workers a better shot at tech job openings: Legislation would also boost Labor Department's enforcement powers
Anne Broache: CNET/ZD Net

Kathy Gurchiek _Society for Human Resource Management_
Former DoL secretary assails work authorization system
"Ray Marshall, secretary of labor during the Carter administration and professor emeritus of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, presented his report during EPI's Agenda for Shared Prosperity policy initiative in Washington, DC, on 2007 March 28...   There are 11M to 20M [illegal aliens] in the United States, according to Marshall, who predicts that the number will double 20 years from now in the absence of a workable policy...   One myth is that illegal aliens fill jobs Americans won't take, 'an attitude encouraged by employers, immigrants and their foreign and domestic supporters to justify unauthorized immigration.', Marshall writes.   'Once the strong employer-immigrant bonds are established, it is hard for even willing natives to compete for these jobs, thus appearing to confirm the myth.', he says in the EPI report.   Among 473 job titles the Center for Immigration Studies looked at, only 4 -- stucco masons, tailors, produce sorters and beauty salon workers -- are made up of a majority of authorized and unauthorized immigrants.   Despite that majority, more than 40% of U.S. citizens hold these jobs, Marshall writes...   [But he concludes that we should grant amnesty to a bunch of illegal aliens, create a foreign worker adjustment board, and 'increase the flow of workers whose skills and education are in short supply in the United States' of America.   So, who gets to declare the supply is 'short'?...]"

Dena Bunis _Orange County Register_
First cap reached on H-1B visas for FY2008
"It took just hours Monday for federal officials to log in about 150K applications for visas for high-skilled workers to come to the United States...   Citizenship and Immigration Services has closed the application period and will use a lottery system to determine which employers will get to bring in the workers they want.   Companies that don't get the visas they want now won't be able to apply again until 2008 April...   Norm Matloff, a computer science professor at UC Davis says the average H-1B visa holder in the computer field earns $50K a year while the average American worker doing the same job earns about $80K.   The reaching of the cap within hours, Matloff said, 'validates the insatiable thirst for cheap labor.   The employers wrote the law.   They are the ones with the clout in Congress.   It's a thoroughly corrupt program.'"

2007-04-03 08:31:48PDT (11:31:48EDT) (15:31:48GMT)
Jim Eykyn & Bryan L. Obenchain _Minot Daily News_
It's time to get serious about the illegal alien invasion problem
Daily Mining Gazette
"More than 623K of the estimated 11M to 12M illegal aliens in the United States have been caught at least once by law enforcement agencies, and ordered to leave this country.   But they're still here -- and there is no reason to believe that they will leave of their own volition or be apprehended and forced out.Why?   Because our federal government isn't taking the problem seriously, according to its own report.   A report by the Department of Homeland Security reveals that the government has a total of 52 'fugitive operations teams' seeking the aliens who have ignored orders to leave the country.   That works out to nearly 12K fugitives for each of the teams...   the government simply isn't serious about catching and deporting scofflaw aliens."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Durbin introduced H-1B/L-1 bill S1035
"The rumor had been that the bill would essentially be the one introduced in the House in the last session of Congress.   It turns out to have both similarities and differences.   The key feature of the Pascrell bill -- setting a simple, EFFECTIVE definition of 'prevailing wage' -- is also in the Durbin bill.   Both bills feature some kind of provisions which would require employers to give Americans employment priority over foreign nationals (note my qualifier, 'some kind').   The Pascrell bill gives rejected Americans the right to bring law-suits, which the Durbin bill does not.   The Durbin bill requires that employers wishing to hire an H-1B advertise the job on a DoL data-base on the web, which Pascrell does not.   The Durbin bill has myriad anti-fraud provisions, but as I've said before, fraud is only a small part of the H-1B problem, and I consider it a distraction to discuss it, distracting focus away from the core H-1B issue, which is the loop-holes in the 'prevailing wage' law and regulations...   As usual, the bill takes the form of amendments to the U.S. Code, 8 U.S.C. 1182(n)...   Section 1: Though some fraud does occur, currently the vast majority of the abuse is done in full compliance with the law, because the law, especially regarding prevailing wage, is written so loosely...   Section 2 sub-sections a & b: Now ALL employers would be subject to...restrictions, which would include:   Employers would not be allowed to hire H-1Bs within 180 days (expanded from the old 90) of a lay-off.   Employers would be required to make 'good faith recruitment efforts' to find American workers before filling jobs with H-1Bs.   Impact: The anti-lay-off provisions would definitely be helpful.   Though non-H-1B-dependent employers have not been subject to the 'good faith recruitment' requirement before, the employer-sponsored green cards have always had such a requirement.   Typically employers circumvent that by requiring so many 'special skills' that the only one in the world who would qualify is the foreign national they want to hire.   DoL PERM regulations had in their draft form some restrictions against employers doing this, but the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) forced DoL to back off.   Still, this 'good faith recruitment' requirement provision would have some value.   Section 2 sub-section c: This would require employers to advertise jobs on a DoL web page for 30 days before filling the jobs with H-1Bs.   Impact: I have made such a proposal in the past myself.   I believe it would be quite helpful, as it would provide public exposure of employers who are avoiding hiring Americans.   The provision would be a lot better if the employers were required to state what the final disposition of the opening was, i.e. did the employer hire an H-1B in the end or not?   Section 2 sub-section d: This would ban the job ads so often seen with phrasing like 'H-1Bs only'.   Section 2 sub-section e: This would forbid employers from hiring H-1Bs and then in turn renting them out to other employers.   Impact: This problem has gotten a lot of press, but I just don't see it as an issue.   What difference does it make whether Intel hires an H-1B directly, or through a [body shop] such as TCS?   And it really would be difficult to enforce.   If TCS tells its H-1Bs to always communicate with Intel managers via their own TCS managers, who is to say the H-1B is working for Intel and not TCS?   The H-1B can even wear a TCS baseball cap to make the point.   Section 2 sub-section f: This would limit firms to having 50% of their employers as H-1Bs.   Impact: Almost none for most employers.   Only 0.1% of employers even meet the 15% threshhold of the existing H-1B-dependency category; even fewer will be over 50%.   This is because these firms do have other workers, e.g. clerical staff, marketing people, accountants and so on.   Now if the provision were to say 50% of engineering staff, some employers would be impacted.   Section 2 sub-section g: This would redefine 'prevailing wage' requirements.   The key point is that it would require them to be paid at least the median for all workers in that occupation.   Impact: In principle, this could cut down H-1B usage by huge amounts, maybe a 70%-80% reduction in visas used.   Here is why: As I've often said, the dirty little secret is that H-1B allows [firms] to hire young H-1Bs instead of older (40+), thus more expensive, Americans.   Currently employers can hire a young H-1B at the lowest of the 4 defined experience levels, and thus can legally get away with hiring the younger H-1B instead of an older American.   By setting the prevailing wage to be at least the median of all workers in the occupation, REGARDLESS OF EXPERIENCE LEVEL, the bill would basically cut the rug out from under the employers of H-1Bs.   Simply put, the H-1Bs just wouldn't be so cheap anymore.   However, the phrasing is a bit vague.   Clause (iii) in this section specifies that OES data be used, which would be great, but clause (ii) does not say this.   Nevertheless, even allowing for the probability that the AILA would pressure DoL do put in loop-holes in this section, the net effect should be a very big reduction in H-1Bs hired.   Section 3: These are various anti-fraud provisions.   Impact: Very little in the grand scheme of things, as I explained above.   Section 4: L-1 reform.   This would require recruitment of Americans and would require paying of the prevailing wage, redefined as for H-1B above.   Renting out of workers would be banned.   There are various anti-fraud measures.   Impact: This would be the same as for the corresponding provisions for H-1Bs above.   So, what is my overall assessment?   IF this bill is given serious consideration in Congress, and IF it passes, and IF the Dept. of Labor does not kowtow too much to the AILA, the redefinition of prevailing wage would bring an absolute sea change to the business of importing foreign programmers and engineers.   In addition, the establishment of a DoL web page for jobs that employers propose to be filled by H-1Bs would be very beneficial.   OTOH, if Congress says, 'Well, let's fold those anti-fraud measures in this bill in with our H-1B expansion bill.   After all, Durbin's bill was mainly about fraud, so we would be using the essence of his bill.', a terrible hoax will have been played on the American people.   H-1B is NOT about fraud, for the most part; it's about employers, large and small, taking advantage of huge loop-holes, that they wrote, in order to hire cheap foreign labor.   Durbin's bill, by having so many anti-fraud measures, and by having its very title focus on fraud, invites a scenario in which its valuable portions are jettisoned."
Durbin S1035 Reduce fraud and abuse with non-immigrant visas

Dan Thomasson _Boston Herald_
Dems drop time bomb on Iraq: Announcing departure dates is irresponsible

AS _Accuracy in Media_
Can talk radio defeat illegal alien amnesty?

_Baptist Press_
Richard Land clarifies immigration reform stance
"Land's commentary, printed in today's Baptist Press release, reiterates neither he nor Southern Baptists support amnesty for illegal aliens.   It also says Southern Baptists 'will not embrace reform that is not committed to securing the borders'...   the SBC's 2006 resolution on illegal immigration. That measure, approved by an overwhelming majority of the messengers, called for increased border security and enforcement of the laws, while urging Christians to minister to all immigrants and to encourage them 'toward the path of legal status and/or citizenship'."

2007-04-03 14:53PDT (17:53EDT) (21:53GMT)
Polk county deputies bust baby food nappers
"After Ruiz was arrested, deputies say Roman Rico-Ruiz came to bail him out.   He was also arrested.   Both men are illegal aliens and deputies say they're part of a crime ring that steals baby formula...   Investigators say the men appear to be part of the same group caught on surveillance tape and arrested in Pasco County last month for stealing formula...   thieves take between $15G and $30G worth of merchandise from store shelves every year..."

Bill Wilson _WDC Media News_
Powerful groups unite to destroy America from within
"There is a group of powerful godless people intent on making America a multicultural, socially democratic society devoid of a middle class in order to restrict freedom and bring the nation under a one-world rule.   The battle front is found in immigration reform, promoting homosexuality, abortion, feminism, environmentalism, racism and war on the soil of the United States.   This group believes by allowing free immigration across U.S. borders, that the middle class will soon be replaced by a peasant class, both in numbers and from a financial burden; that by promoting immorality and minority victim clashes the country will be divided.   And by bringing war on American soil, personal liberties will be eliminated...   Those who want free and unimpeded migration across the U.S. borders have found common ground with those who want cheaper labor, with those who want expansion of [tax-victim] funded social programs.   Those who want a North American Union have found common ground with free trade supporters.   Some examples: The Bush Administration working with the Democratic leadership to provide amnesty for illegal aliens; The bi-partisan push for the Security and Prosperity Partnership that seeks to cut the nation in half with a trade route between Mexico and Canada; the coalition between the National Education Association, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, Planned Parenthood, the National Organization of Women and others to teach tolerance, sexual freedom and equality to children in public schools.   And these are the same people, who in the name of peace, who work together to hand terrorists and terrorism victory by withdrawing from the war on terror.   The battle lines are drawn and the American people are being bombed each day over the airwaves of propaganda to accept and submit.   The godless know that if morals, ethics and religious freedom can be dismantled, especially in our children, no one will care enough to save the nation that has been the worldwide standard-bearer for freedom and justice.   If those godly people, who love their freedom and their children and their country do not stand now, there will be nothing left for which to stand."

2007-04-03 11:00PDT (14:00EDT) (18:00GMT)
Patrick J. Buchanan _Conservative Voice_
Nicolas Sarkozy plays the patriot card
Human Events
"a speech in Lille where Sarkozy ripped into the take-over of Arcelor, Europe's largest steel-maker, by Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian steel magnate.   A 'mistake', declared Sarkozy: 'Look at the waste of Arcelor, which we sold off on the cheap because we believed the steel industry was history.   They got it wrong.   They lied.'...   Do we Americans, too, wish to live in a world where unelected trans-national bureaucrats speak imperiously to U.S. presidents on what we may and may not do to restore the old self-sufficiency and independence of the United States?   Because that is where we are headed -- with NAFTA, the World Trade Organization and the North American Union agreed to by Bush, Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin in 2005, under the rubric of 'The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America'...   'free' trade is the Trojan horse of global government...   The struggle that succeeds the Cold War may not be vertical at all -- i.e., between nation-states -- but horizontal, between patriots of all nations and trans-national elites, like Kroes and her fellow commissioners."

2007-04-03 14:22:09PDT (17:22:09EDT) (21:22:09GMT)
_Joplin Independent_
DC protest planned for April 22 through 26 to support immigration law enforcement

_Richmond Times-Dispatch_/_AP_
Virginia State Crime Commission to study crime by and against illegal aliens

2007-04-03 14:59PDT (17:59EDT) (21:59GMT)
Lou Dobbs & Kitty Pilgrim & Bill Tucker _CNN_
H-1B visa reform proposal
Kitty Pilgrim: Now, not all Americans are suffering.   Since 2000, half of the gains in the economy have gone into corporate profits and the top tier wage earners.   It's the middle class Americans who are no longer participating in the economic gains -- Lou.
Lou Dobbs: And that report focussing on the number of hours that working men and women in this country are putting in, as compared to most of their European counterparts, the American worker today is working nearly a month longer, despite basically stagnant wages over the last 3 decades -- nearly a month longer in terms of total hours than 30 years ago.   It's crazy what's happening in many respects.   And then we have idiots talking about raising productivity and making the American worker productivity -- more productive.   Just asinine talk.   Thank you very much, Kitty Pilgrim.   Two key Senators, one Republican and one Democrat, today working towards stopping another assault on middle class working men and women.   The H-1B visa program.   That's the one that Bill Gates, the world's richest man, just loves.   As we've reported here many times, the H-1B program has been abused by corporate America in its search for cheap foreign labor to replace middle class workers.   Bill Tucker reports on new efforts to pass this bipartisan legislation that would end that.
Bill Tucker: Senators Durbin and Grassley aim to fix the H-1B visa program for a straightforward reason.
Ron Hira, Rochester Institute of Technology: Right now too many American engineers believe that this program is really a scam, that it's a way to under-cut their wages.   It's really a cheap labor program to out-source jobs.
Bill Tucker: From Iowa, Senator Grassley released this statement.   Quote, 'Plain and simple, this bill is about protecting the American worker.' End quote.   Troubles with the H-1B visa program have been well-documented on Lou Dobbs Tonight and in studies by the Office of Management and Budget, the GAO, and the inspector general of the Department of Labor.   What the bill would do is tighten the rules and oversight of the program.   Every employer seeking to hire an H-1B worker would have to pledge that they looked for a qualified American first.   Just to be sure, the employer would be required to post the opening on the Department of Labor web site for 30 days for everyone looking for work to see.   On top of that, every company who has hired an H-1B worker would be listed on the DoL's web site, along with the positions hired.   And the definition of prevailing wage would change: from whatever the employer wants to pay to a median of all the workers in that occupation.   Employers laying off workers would have to wait 180 days before they could apply to hire an H-1B visa worker.
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL): Senator Grassley and I believe our first obligation is to American workers to make sure they have an opportunity to bid on these same jobs, to be paid a decent wage for performing these services.
Bill Tucker: And in the minds of some, it's chances are slim to none.
John Miano: This bill obviously has an up-hill path to face, because the industry has controlled H-1B legislation and has been able to block any reform attempts over the years.
Bill Tucker: Reform legislation introduced in the House for the past two years ended up buried in committee and never saw the floor.   Which is why there is already a concerted grassroots campaign underway to inform American workers, to get them actively involved to support the Durbin-Grassley Bill, and, Lou, that in hopes that they can rally the support of their senators.  
Lou Dobbs: Well, their senators certainly should be aware of the support of all the working people.   I love what Senator Durbin said, that they're going to take it as their first obligation being to American workers.
Bill Tucker: Right.
Lou Dobbs: You don't hear that very often in Washington, DC Americans first?   I mean, this is a -- this is a corrosive idea.   I mean, that can actually spread and be deleterious to a lot of these so-called corporate policies that pose as legislation.   You know, it's sort of display making to think they don't have a chance for this.   You know, it's sort of dismaying to hear you say that they don't think they've got much of a chance with this.   This is a Democratically-led Congress.
Bill Tucker: Unfortunately, Pascrell, two years in row, a Democrat in the House has introduced similar legislation.   This is a little tougher.   It was buried in committee, never came out of committee, so that a lot of people think the Bill Gates of the world are going to prevail on this issue, Lou.
Lou Dobbs: Well, you know, we're going to hold out hope here.   I mean, this Congress did pass an increase in the minimum wage.   The Senate hasn't done anything with it, by the way, unfortunately.   And we -- I keep waiting for the leadership of this Congress to do something about that.   I hope that we don't end up having to say that Democrats are bought and paid for to the same extent as the Republicans were in the previous Congresses.   But we'll see.   Hopeful, but not optimistic.   How's that?

Stephen Deere _St. Louis Post-Dispatch_
Valley Park will stay the course on illegal immigrants

Courtney Stevens _Daily Nexus_
Politically-driven policies hinder border safety and security

Maureen Magee _San Diego Union-Tribune_
More cargo, money steaming into port of San Diego
"Cargo topped 2.8M metric tons in 2006, according to the San Diego Unified Port District, 6% more than in the year before.   Maritime cargo revenue totaled $37M for the same period, up 28% from 2005...   Also contributing to increased port business is the country's off-shoring of manufacturing in several industries.   The Port of San Diego is positioning itself to take in as much of that business as possible."

  "From 1981 to 1988, non-defense discretionary spending was $300G less than it would have been if the spending rates in the 8 years before the Reagan administration had prevailed.   Meanwhile, the same calculation for entitlements & other 'mandatory' spending showed an increase for 1981 to 1988 of $360G..." --- John H. Makin & Norman J. Ornstein 1994 _Debt & Taxes_ pg 222  


2007-04-04 (5767 Adar 14)

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
H-1B cap reached lickety-split
"As predicted, the H-1B cap for the new fiscal year was reached immediately...   Note that the immigration [lawyers are giving] the usual industry lobbyist line that it costs more to hire an H-1B, due to legal and government fees.   The fact is that these amount to only about $2K or so.   If the employer is also sponsoring the H-1B for a green card, the legal fees would be higher, about $10K.   That's all.   [A thorough background investigation would cost $25K to $35K.]   Meanwhile the employer is saving [$13K or $20K] or more in wages EVERY YEAR, for the 6 years duration of the visa.   So, obviously the employer comes out way ahead by hiring H-1Bs.   The law requires that H-1Bs be paid 'prevailing wage', but the legal definition of that term is chock full of loop-holes.   So, the employer can pay the H-1B less than Americans and yet still be fully compliant with the law.   The bill recently introduced by senator Durbin which for the most part plug these gaping loop-holes.   It remains to be seen, though, whether the bill will get any traction.   I predict, for instance, that my own 2 senators, Boxer and Feinstein, will NOT support this bill.   With Feinstein playing a key role on the senate Judiciary Committee, it is likely to die in committee."

Anand Giridharadas _NY Times_
kinds of jobs that cannot be off-shored are slowly evaporating
"Infosys devotes $65 of every $1K in revenue to training.   I.B.M., by contrast, spends just $6.56, according to a 2006 proxy statement."
FinFacts/ Irish Independent/ Irish Times

_Public Technology_
IT sector in UK backs common terminology to describe skills, knowledge and experience
"David Clark, CEO, British Computer Society, a member of the Professionalism in IT Alliance said: 'There is a growing need for structured development programmes for IT professionals, particularly in the light of off-shoring and its impact on the UK's IT skills ladder.'"
e-Skills UK
IT professional competency model
IT PCM (pdf)

Ron Hira _ZD Net_
Durbin's H-1B reform proposal and off-shoring
"I think you are taking a too limited view of business decision-making.   The companies do not make binary either-or choices: hire a foreign guest-worker or hire abroad.   If the company can't find a US worker for an opening at a particular price, they will choose one or more of the following options: raise the wages offered to attract a larger pool of candidates; hire a less ideal candidate and have them do some training; train an internal worker to move to the job; split the tasks up and spread them across a number of workers; mechanize/automate the job -- substitute capital for labor; out-source the work to a contractor domestically; out-source the work over-seas; hire over-seas.   The idea that there are a fixed number of jobs in the country is something that economists call the 'lumps of labor' fallacy [with the 'fixed pie' fallacy thrown in].   This is generally talked about in terms of the lay-person's misperception that 'jobs' move over-seas and no new ones will be created in their place.   I think you have the same misperception of the labor market.   It is a 'market' that exhibits all kinds of flexibility.   Now turning to the business logic of off-shoring, and the constraints on off-shoring.   Companies are not moored to the U.S.A.   If a set of tasks are off-shorable, and companies can save money doing so, then you better believe that companies are doing it.   If they didn't, they would be irresponsible to their share-holders.   The Boards do not compensate managers and executives based on how many U.S. workers are employed.   I don't say this as a criticism, simply as a fact.   So, companies are off-shoring everything they can, and I see few political constraints.   M$ isn't keeping work in the U.S.A. because it is 'patriotic', nor should it.   The real constraints are technical.   The nature of the tasks are such that they require physical presence in the U.S.A.   They are 'geographically sticky'.   See for example, Alan Blinder's recent foray into the off-shoring discussion (WSJ profiled this about a week ago).   Now, turning to the bill provisions themselves.   [Larry Dignan had written,] 'A company, say M$ on any other technology concern that hires a lot of H-1B workers, is going to look at this bill and say it's not worth the effort to hire foreigners in the U.S.A.'   This seems unlikely to me.   All of the provisions are things that M$ already says they comply with.   Why would they balk at signing a sheet of paper saying they are complying with it?   There is little additional cost to them to do this.   They are, after all, asking for a privilege not afforded to most other businesses, and they are increasing the supply of the labor market.   It seems reasonable enough to ensure that the H-1B program meets its intents.   If this means that there are costs to ensure compliance, then it seems like a reasonable trade-off."

2007-04-04 08:52PDT (11:52EDT) (15:52GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Factory orders up 1% in February: down 0.4% excluding transportation equipment

Julian Pecquet _Tallahassee Demagogue_
Gang problem growing
"Some 150 to 200 young people are thought to be involved in gangs, said captain Chris Connell of the Tallahassee Police Department.   More and more girls are joining.   There are signs that national gangs such as Crips, Bloods and MS-13 are moving in, partially because they don't have much competition when it comes to dealing drugs and committing other crimes."

Jason D. O'Grady _ZD Net_
Apple released 8-core Mac Pro

2007-04-04 09:53PDT (12:53EDT) (16:53GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM services index fell from 54.3 in March to 52.4 in April
ISM report

Lisa Petrillo _San Diego Union-Tribune_
California State University system reaches deal with faculties
"After almost 2 years of acrimonious bargaining, capped by a fact-finder's intervention, the proposed pact would raise base pay for all faculty 20.7% over the next 4 years.     Potential increases for eligible instructors would make the package worth 24.9%...   CSU officials put the cost of the pay raises for 22,400 faculty at $400M [less than the cost of a couple new stadiums].   With 23 campuses and 417K students, CSU is the nation's largest public university system.   It awards more than 85K degrees annually and trains the bulk of the state's teachers and other professionals.   The contract proposal would increase top pay for professors from $86K to $105,465 a year.   Average salary for a tenure-track faculty member would increase from $74K to $90,749...   more than 60% of CSU classes are taught by faculty at the lower end of the pay range and by part-time lecturers, who on average are paid less than half of the top pay for a professor...   At SDSU, faculty voted 95% in support of the union job actions because they wanted competitive salaries, Wheeler said."

2007-04-04 09:56:16PDT (12:56:16EDT) (16:56:16GMT)
Barbara Ortutay _AP_/_York Dispatch_
Google executives take cash salary cut for 2006 but face no risk of going to poor-house
"Besides his $1 salary, Schmidt, who was #116 on Forbes magazine's most recent ranking of American billionaires, received a bonus of $1,723 and 'other compensation' valued at $555,742, according to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.   The bulk of that other compensation, $532,755, was for personal security...   Schmidt, 51, owns 10,096 of Google's Class A shares and 10.7M of its Class B shares.   At the end of 2006, those securities were worth about $4.9G...   [Brin and Page are each] worth $16.6G, according to the magazine's estimate.   Brin beneficially owns 28.6M of Google's B stock, which was worth about $13.2G at the end of 2006.   and Page owns 29.2M shares, worth about $13.4G at the end of the year.   In addition to their $1 salaries, Brin and Page each received a bonus of $1,723 -- of this, $1K was a holiday bonus awarded to each Google employee.   Page, whose title is president of products, topped Brin's $1,724 compensation package with compensation valued at $38,519.   He received perks totaling $36,795, which consisted of $33,195 for transportation, logistics and security during personal travel and $3,600 for personal travel using rental cars."

2007-04-04 10:16PDT (13:16EDT) (17:16GMT)
Lay-off announcements total 48,997 for March
San Diego Union-Tribune
composite: "The number of job cuts announced by U.S. corporations in March fell 41.7% from February to a total of 48,997, according to a Challenger, Gray & Christmas survey released Wednesday.   Job cuts were 24.6% lower in March than the same month a year earlier, when there were 64,975 announced job cuts.   The quarterly total nearly matches the overall 2006 total of 22,814, Challenger Gray said.   The automotive industry announced 23,481 job cuts in March, the most for any industry.   Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. reported that job cuts in housing, including real estate, construction and mortgage lending, soared 346% to 21,245 in the first quarter, compared with 4,764 job cuts in the same quarter last year.   The first-quarter number barely trails the total number of jobs cuts in 2006 of 22,814.   In 2005, the housing industry slashed only 13,656 jobs.   Construction led the job cuts with 13,958, compared with only 115 in the fourth quarter of 2006.   Mortgage lending rose to 6,138 from 3,497 the previous year.   Only the real estate sector -- which includes commercial and residential real estate agencies -- saw a decline in jobs cuts to 1,149 from 1,152."

Harold Meyerson _Washington Post_
In fear of democracy in Red China
"Listen to the apostles of free trade, and you'll learn that once consumer choice comes to authoritarian regimes, democracy is sure to follow.   Call it the Starbucks rule: Situate enough Starbucks around Shanghai, and the Communist Party's control will crumble like dunked biscotti.   As a theory of revolution, the Starbucks rule leaves a lot to be desired.   Shanghai is swimming in Starbucks, yet, as James Mann notes in _The China Fantasy_, his new book on the non-democratization of [Red China], the regime soldiers on.   Conversely, the American farmers who made our revolution didn't have much in the way of consumer choice, yet they managed to free themselves from the British.   In New England, however, they did have town meetings, which may be a surer guide to the coming of democratic change.   It's a growing civil society -- a sphere where people can deliberate and decide on more than their coffee -- that more characteristically sounds the death knell of dictatorships...   There, since March of last year, the government has been considering a labor law that promises a smidgen of increase in workers' rights.   And since March of last year, the American businesses so mightily invested in [Red China] have mightily fought it.   Beyond the Starbucks of Shanghai, the [Red China] of workers and peasants is a sea of unrest, roiled by thousands of strikes and protests that the regime routinely represses.   Cognizant that they need to do something to quell the causes of unrest, some of [Red China's] rulers have entertained modest changes to the country's labor law.   The legislation wouldn't allow workers to form independent trade unions or grant them the right to strike -- this is, after all, a communist regime.   It would, however, require employers to provide employees, either individually or collectively, with written contracts.   It would allow employees to change jobs within their industries or get jobs in related industries in other regions; employers have hitherto been able to thwart this by invoking statutes on proprietary information.   It would also require that companies bargain with worker representatives over health and safety conditions.   It's not as if [Red Chinese] unions would use these laws to run roughshod over employers.   [Red Chinese] unions are not, strictly speaking, unions at all.   They remain controlled by the Communist Party.   Their locals can be and frequently are headed by plant managers, whether the workers want them or not.   And yet, these changes proved too radical for America's leading corporations.   As documented by Global Labor Strategies, a U.S.-based non-profit organization headed by long-time labor activists, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the U.S.-[Red China] Business Council embarked on a major campaign to kill these tepid reforms.   Last April, one month after the legislation was first floated, the chamber sent a 42-page document to the [Red Chinese] government on behalf of its 1,300 members -- including General Electric, M$, Dell, Ford and dozens of other household brand names -- objecting to these minimal increases in worker power.   In its public comments on the proposed law, GE declared that it strongly preferred 'consultation' with workers to 'securing worker representative approval' on a range of its labor practices.   Based on a second draft of the law, completed in December, it looks like American businesses have substantially prevailed.   Key provisions were weakened; if an employer elects not to issue written contracts, workers are guaranteed only the wages of similar employees -- with the employer apparently free to define who, exactly, is similar."

2007-04-04 11:11PDT (14:11EDT) (18:11GMT)
Anne Broache _CNET_/_ZD Net_
What does H-1B application surge mean?

Jeannine Aversa _AP_/_Wichita Eagle_
IMF says global economy is moving ahead
Bradenton Herald
Philadelphia Suburbs
Centre Daily Times
"The global economy is forging ahead despite slower growth from its #1 player, the United States, the International Monetary Fund concluded Wednesday.   A sharper-than-expected U.S housing slump, though, could pose a risk to the world's economic performance, IMF researchers warned.   'So far, however, the U.S. slow-down has had little discernible effect on growth in most other countries.', the IMF said.   That's because the troubles in housing so far -- while painful -- have largely been contained and haven't spread to lots of other sectors in the U.S. economy...   The global labor force has risen 4-fold over the past 2 decades, reflecting an influx of workers from [Red China], India and the former Eastern bloc countries.   However, the extent of off-shoring, or moving work to locations outside a given country, was still quite limited in 'advanced' economies, including the United States.   Off-shoring made up about 5% of gross output in advanced economies in 2003, the most recent period available, the IMF said.   The skewed pattern of global trade and investment patterns that are viewed as a threat to the world economy's long-term stability could be helped if the U.S. dollar were to go down in value and the currencies of other countries -- including [Red China] -- with big trade surpluses were to go up in value.   Even a depreciation in the value of the dollar of less than 10% could bring about a narrowing in the U.S. trade deficit, the IMF said."

Frosty Wooldridge _American Chronicle_
If I were president of the United States
"While over 1M high tech American workers can't find jobs, our own government handed out 1M H-1B, H-2B and L-1 visas to foreigners in the past decade...   I would gather the greatest economic minds together in the United States and create a plan for solving our $8.5T national debt...   A sound money system is a sound country...   I would concentrate on assisting American citizens by making powerful executive decisions to stop in-sourcing, out-sourcing and off-shoring of American jobs.   I'd make sure our citizens are employed before people from other countries took those jobs.   I'd rescind all H-1B, H2-B and L-1 visas immediately and send those foreign workers back to their own countries.   I would support the American worker, period!   I wouldn't make excuses and I wouldn't denigrate my fellow Americans by telling them they won't work the jobs.   I'd give 14M unemployed Americans a chance to work their jobs at a living wage.   IOW, I would not allow corporations to govern America.   I would enforce our immigration laws by locking up and prosecuting employers of illegal aliens.   I'd do it slowly and methodically.   I'd use my presidential power to create the greatest exodus of illegal aliens out of this country since Ike in 1954.   For those jobs requiring farm work, I would create the 'pink card' that lasts for 3 months.   It would feature a finger print, picture ID and tax number.   If you break the law by forging it, you instantly go to prison and you will never be allowed to come back as a seasonal worker again."

Bob Chapman _Gold $eek_
USA markets are broken
"Free trade and globalization is the new imperialism, the re-colonization of sovereign nations.   In America the ramrod for destruction of what has come to be known as the American system is the Council on Foreign Relations.   They have been instrumental in the development of GATT, WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA, FTAA and now SPP or the North American Union.   Over the last 6 years Americans have lost more than 5M jobs to out-sourcing and off-shoring.   Congress has heard one gory story after another from its own members, yet little has been done to solve this problem that is ripping the heart out of our country.   Congress has answered by offering a stipend to those over 55 years old who accept a lower paying job.   That isn't the answer, because the [tax-victims] pay for it and the culprit gets away paying a token amount via normal taxation.   Those companies that off-shore and out-source should pay that bill and not for just a year, but until the worker ceases working."

US-Politiker wollen Visaprogramme für Fachkräfte stärker reglementieren
"Zwei US-Senatoren haben Kritik an den Visa-Programmen H-1B und L-1 aufgegriffen und in einen Gesetzentwurf gegossen.   Der Republikaner Chuck Grassley und der Demokrat Dich Durbin wollen mit dem nun laut Mitteilung in den Kongress eingebrachten The H-1B and L-1 Visa Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act of 2007 erreichen, dass US-Bürger bei Einstellungen bevorzugt werden und vermeiden, dass die Konkurrenz mit ausländischen Fachkräften zu Lohndumping und Beschneidung von Arbeitnehmerrechten führt.   Derartige Bedenken hatte beispielsweise das Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-USA) geäußert."

Deborah Perelman _eWeek Channel Insider_/_Ziff Davis_
There is no shortage of US engineers
"there is no shortage of engineers in the United States, and that off-shoring is all about cost savings.   This report, entitled 'Issues in Science and Technology' and published in the latest National Academy of Sciences magazine further explores the topic of engineering graduation rates of India, [Red China] and the United States, the subject of a 2005 Duke study.   In the report, concerns are raised that [Red China] is racing ahead of both the United States and India in its ability to perform basic research.   It also asserts that the United States is risking losing its global edge by out-sourcing critical R&D and India is falling behind by playing politics with education.   Meanwhile, it considers [Red China] well-positioned for the future.   Duke's 2005 study corrected a long-heard myth about India and [Red China] graduating 12 times as many engineers as the United States, finding instead that the United States graduates a comparable number.   'You had the brightest kids [in the USA] worrying about their jobs being out-sourced.   We thought, if kids at Duke were worried, then let's do a study about what's going on in education.', Vivek Wadhwa, [former bodyshopper,] executive in residence at Duke University's master's in engineering management program and a co-author of the study, told eWEEK at the time.   'The first thing you do in a study is you look at the facts.   But we couldn't find any facts.   The more we dug, the more we looked, the more we discovered there were no facts.', said Wadhwa.   However, Duke's 2005 study reported serious problems with the quality of Indian and [Red Chinese] bachelor-level engineering graduates, and predicted both shortages in India and unemployment in [Red China].   The current report finds these predictions to be accurate, with [Red China's] National Reform Commission reporting that the majority of its 2006 graduates will not find work.   There are also oft-heard whisperings of an engineering shortage in India, though private colleges and 'finishing schools' are going far to make up for the Indian deficiencies, the report said.   Yet, it is cost savings, and not the education of Indian and Chinese workers, or a shortage of American engineers that has caused off-shore out-sourcing, the study asserts.   'Respondents said the advantages of hiring U.S. engineers were strong communication skills, an understanding of U.S. industry, superior business acumen, strong education or training, strong technical skills, proximity to work centers, lack of cultural issues, and a sense of creativity and desire to challenge the status quo.', wrote Wadhwa in the 2007 report.   'The key advantage of hiring Chinese entry-level engineers was cost savings, whereas a few respondents cited strong education or training and a willingness to work long hours.   Similarly, cost savings were cited as a major advantage of hiring Indian entry-level engineers, whereas other advantages were technical knowledge, English language skills, strong education or training, ability to learn quickly, and a strong work ethic.'   The report concludes by stating that out-sourcing will continue to build enough momentum that the next big piece to be off-shored is R&D, and that these jobs will require more Master's degrees and PhDs, something [Red China] graduates more of in engineering than the United States.   The number of India's engineering PhD's has remained flat, while [Red China's] has surged, the report said.   The study ultimately found that the United States has a tremendous amount of work to do to keep up, above and beyond fixing K-12 education.   'Even if the nation did everything that is needed, it will probably take 10 to 15 years before major benefits become apparent.   Given the pace at which globalization is happening, by that time the United States would have lost its global competitive edge.   The nation cannot wait for education to set matters right.', said Wadhwa.   Furthermore, even while the education system does improve, the report pressures for a more welcome attitude toward skilled immigrants.   'It is clear that skilled immigrants bring a lot to the United States: They contribute to the economy, create jobs and lead innovation.   H-1B's are temporary visas and come with many restrictions.   If the nation truly needs workers with special skills, it should make them welcome by providing them with permanent resident status.', Wadhwa said.   'Temporary workers cannot start businesses, and the nation currently is not giving them the opportunity to integrate into society and help the United States compete globally.   We must also make it easier for foreign students to stay after they graduate.'"

  "Press on.   Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.   Talent will not; as nothing is more common than unsuccessful individuals with talent.   Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.   Education will not; the world is full of over-educated derelicts.   Persistence & determination alone seem always to prevail." --- Ray Kroc 1985-09-15 (quoted in Jeff Scott Cook 1989 _The Elements of SpeechWriting & Public Speaking_ pg 203; quoting Calvin Coolidge)  


2007-04-05 (5767 Adar 15)

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
today's Wall Street Journal editorial
Today's WSJ includes an editorial whose lead paragraphs are:
While politicians haggle over immigration reform, the U.S. economy's demand for workers foreign and domestic continues to grow.   On Monday U.S. officials began accepting applications for the 85K available H-1b visas -- the kind that go to foreign professionals -- for the fiscal year starting in October.   By Tuesday, the quota had been filled, making this the third straight year that the cap was reached before the fiscal year had even begun.   It's another example of the disconnect between immigration policy and labor market realities.   A common assumption of immigration critics is that alien workers are either stealing American jobs or reducing home-grown wages.   But both notions are flawed, according to a new and illuminating study by economist Giovanni Peri for the Public Policy Institute of California.
Giovanni Peri is my colleague at UCD [University of California at Davis], and is a very friendly, pleasant fellow.   He is in the earlier part of his career, and I predict he will gradually make his mark in the economics community.   But the editorial is completely wrong to cite him regarding H-1B, for the following reasons:
1. First and foremost, PERI'S STUDY WAS NOT ABOUT H-1B.   It was a study about immigration in general, the rich, poor and middle, all mixed together.   There is really nothing in his study which sheds light on H-1B.
2. Second, Peri has not studied H-1B or related issues otherwise.   I asked him to give a guest lecture in my freshman seminar class on immigration last Fall.   He showed some slides about his study, and we chatted afterwards.   He readily admitted that he doesn't know much about H-1B or tech immigrants in general.   He said that he just assumes that if the employers hire H-1Bs, there must be a shortage of workers.   When I said that the 'shortage' is one of cheap labor, he was surprised and seemed interested, but this is not a topic on which he has any expertise.
3. For our purposes, Reasons 1 and 2 above are quite enough to show the irrelevance of the study to the H-1B issue, but as an academic I do feel the need to explain how academic research works.   Peri's study is not yet published academically.   He will submit it to a scholarly economics journal, which will assign two or more reviewers who are experts in the field.   If they believe his methods and conclusions are sound, and his results are useful, the journal will publish it.   This is the case, for instance, when you see a news report which starts out with 'The new issue of the New England Journal of Medicine has an article...'   That medical article will have gone through the academic review process to verify that it is correct.   If Peri's paper is rejected, he will either heed the negative comments and submit a modified version to another journal, or will simply move on to something else.   The reason that Peri's study is getting so much press is that it is a message that lobbyists want to transmit to the American populace and especially to Congress.   That's why the pro-H-1B Wall Street Journal (which once called for a constitutional amendment instituting fully open borders) is citing his study, and it's why the industry lobbying group Compete America has a copy of the WSJ editorial on their web [site].   Note that you can't get it on the WSJ site if you're not a subscriber, but Compete America is happy to provide it.
4. Peri's thesis is that immigrants and natives play complementary roles with respect to each other, rather than competing with each other.   He makes this conclusion by observing certain patterns in the data, but actually the conclusion is invalid.   Let me explain why, using something the WSJ cites from the study, which is that larger percentages of immigrants have PhDs than do natives.   Peri's point is that the data patterns show that a higher percentage of immigrants want to study for a PhD while a lesser percentage of natives do, so that they are complementing each other.   But as readers of this e-news-letter know, the governmental National Science Foundation brought in foreign students and foreign professionals for the express purpose of keeping PhD wages down.   And most significantly, the NSF projected, quite correctly, that this suppression of wages would drive away Americans from pursuing doctoral study.   So the immigrants and natives aren't playing complementary roles at all.

2007-04-04 17:06:39PDT (2007-04-04 20:06:39EDT) (2007-04-05 00:06:39GMT)
_Americans for Legal Immigration_
Illegal aliens apprehended: They were carrying Bank of India (formerly called Bank of America) credit cards
"Illegal immigrant suspects had records.   Two of 9 caught at hotel are fugitives, Morganelli says...   Morganelli said Flor Rocha, of Falls Church, VA, was wanted in California for a dangerous drugs charge, but officials wouldn't extradite him back to California.   Juan Carlos Hinjosa, of Springfield, VA, was wanted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials after he was arrested in 2005 February."

2007-04-05 05:30PST (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 266,229 in the week ending March 31, a decrease of 7,364 from the previous week.   There were 253,985 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1% during the week ending March 24, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,731,527, a decrease of 94,946 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,680,141.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending March 17."

Anya Sostek _Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_
More shortage whining amidst a surplus of under-utilized US science and tech talent

2007-04-05 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs & Bill Tucker _CNN_
Over-paid executives; H-1b visa excess
Lou Dobbs: Ford Motor Company posted a record $12.7G in losses last year.   Yet, it's CEO, Allen Mulally, was paid $28M for just 4 months of work last year.   While Mulally was handsomely compensated, to say the very least, 38K Ford workers were given out buyout packages.   And 14 Ford plants are now scheduled to be closed.   Mulally's compensation package also includes access, of course, to corporate jets for his business and personal travel.   It's a perk that costs the company hundreds of thousands of dollars additionally each year.   And it's also a pretty good -- maybe the record for four months worth of work.   More proof tonight that business is fragrantly abusing America's visa program to replace hard-working Americans with cheap foreign labor.   U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services now reports that big business snatched up the annual quota of [85K] new H-1B visas for foreign worker visas in just one day this week.   As Bill Tucker now reports, corporate America wants even more cheap labor entering the country.
Bill Tucker, CNN correspondent: H-1B workers are irresistible to American business.   Claims by the corporate elite that it's not about the cheap labor don't ring true.   A soon-to-be-released study from the Center for Immigration Studies finds that wages reported for H-1B workers averaged $12K below the median wage for the U.S. worker in the same occupation and in the same location in 2005.   It was $16K less for computer workers.   No wonder America's richest man recently told Congress the program should be expanded.
Bill Gates, former CEO of M$: I don't think there should be any limit.
Bill Tucker: What Bill Gates knows and isn't saying, but what a former director at ICE will say is that for some, there is no limit.
Victor Cerda, former Customs Enforcement Director: Homeland Security is announcing that the cap was met, the 65K cap.   That doesn't include necessarily the 20K, the first 20K who earned masters degrees in U.S. universities.   They're excluded.
Bill Tucker: Also excluded are universities and nonprofit research organizations.   They are unlimited.   Nor do H-1B workers fall in any one category.   All the worker needs is a college degree.   Even fashion models can apply.   The biggest group under the cap are tech workers.   The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service recently released data on H-1B approvals in 2004 and 2005.   Nearly 117K visa applications were approved for the fiscal year 2004, 130K for 2005.   Both years a far cry from 65K.   And a company doesn't have to be American to apply.
Kim Berry, the Programmers Guild: The industry's created this perception that there's this great need, and that's why we bring in the workers.   What's happening, the top three users are foreign consulting firms.   First, they bring in the workers, and then they aggressively try to find work for these workers.
Bill Tucker: Those 3 companies are India's Infosys Technologies, Wipro, and Cognizant Technology Solutions.   And as you might expect, India's National Association of Software and Services Companies was quick to complain.   The organization, known as NASSCOM, is made up of 1,100 companies in India, many of whom make their money off work out-sourced to India, and engineers working on H-1B visas.   NASSCOM thinks the cap should be large enough for 'market forces to operate freely', Lou, as it did when the cap was 195K, just about 3 years ago.
Lou Dobbs: You know, it's a competitive world.   I give those Indian companies all the credit in the world.
Bill Tucker: Absolutely.
Lou Dobbs: My complaint are with the idiots who run the United States government and who permit this kind of conduct.   I mean, I love the fact that we can't even control the number of H-1B visas.   Even with the cap, they overrun it by, say, double.
Bill Tucker: Right.
Lou Dobbs: Which is ludicrous to begin with.   No one really has a clear count on the number of these visas out there, or how many people are still in the country with them.   That's your Citizenship and Immigration Services at work.   And then you have people like Bill Gates saying it should be unlimited.   Guess what, Bill, old buddy -- it is unlimited the way this government is operated.   And the people being punished, American workers as a result.
Bill Tucker: And it's not like we don't know, Lou.   There have been studies going back to 1995 from the government telling us that.
Lou Dobbs: Well, and they were supposed to be, by the way, providing accurate reporting on that every year since.   But mysteriously, that just has not quite happened.   We should point out -- you mentioned those 3 Indian companies.   We should point out that 70% of -- 70% of all of those visa applications are originating with those Indian corporations.   Those aren't American corporations seeking those workers.   Now, the other side of this is, I'm thrilled to have some people in this country who want to come here, even temporarily, who have college educations and can provide necessary skills.   But if corporate America really wants to back it up, and if those fine folks from India want to back it up with emphasis, (INAUDIBLE), and so forth, maybe they ought to lift their wages up to the prevailing American wage, and then we wouldn't be so skeptical of their intent.

2007-04-05 (5767 Nissan 18)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
The shame of higher education

S&P 5001,443.76
10-year US T-Bond4.67%
crude oil64.28
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading

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

  "Inflation & credit expansion are the means to obfuscate the fact that there prevails a nature-given scarcity of the material things on which the satisfaction of human wants depends.   The main concern of capitalist private enterprise is to remove this scarcity as much as possible & to provide a continuously improving standard of living for an increasing population.   The historian cannot help noting that laissez faire & rugged individualism have to an unprecedented extent succeeded in their endeavors to supply the common man more & more amply with food, shelter, & many other amenities.   But however remarkable these improvements may be, there will always be a strict limit to the amount that can be consumed without reducing the capital available for the continuation &, even more, the expansion of production." --- Ludwig von Mises 1934 _The Theory of Money & Credit_ pg 484  


2007-04-06 (5767 Adar 16)

Bruce Collins _Big Finale_
interview of Doug Tjaden on Traditions of Men, wealth, debt, bondge, scrip, and religion
Equipping the Family
American Chronicle
Bruce D. Collins

2007-04-06 (5767 Nissan 18)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Must we lose this war?

  "...though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression." --- Thomas Jefferson 1801-03-04  


2007-04-07 (5767 Adar 17)

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_
As the H-1B cap filled in record time, perversion is in the air
"The IT unemployment rate based on an average of the past 4 quarters is 2.3%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released last week.   To compare that, unemployment across all management and professional jobs, IT and non-IT, was 2.2%.   Some segments have boomed: In IT management, jobs are up 31% since the tech employment nadir of 2003, and unemployment is 1.9%.   Jobs in the largest IT category, software engineers, are up 17% from 2003 and unemployment is 1.7%.   But the second largest category, computer scientists and system analysts, has been flat since 2003, with 2.6% unemployment today.   Support specialists see 3.2% unemployment, network and system admins 3.6%.   Overall, IT jobs are up just 1% since 2001 and 5% since 2003...   But it's the Durbin-Grassley bill that would break new ground.   It's aimed at H-1B and L-1, which isn't capped and is designed for managers [and other workers with proprietary knowledge] of multi-nationals.   The Durbin-Grassley bill would bar companies from out-sourcing H-1B or L-1 employees to other companies; it would require all employers with H-1B workers to pledge that they made a good faith effort to fill those jobs with American workers, something now required only of companies with 15% or more of their employees on H-1B; and it would require them to advertise jobs on a Labor Department web site for 30 days and post summaries of all H-1B applications.   It would also give the Labor Department more authority to investigate abuses.   'It's a great bill to fix the problems.', Hira says.   Addressing such abuses would lower demand and make it less likely that the cap would have to be raised, he contends.   Others want broader reform kept separate from the cap discussion, having seen past efforts wither while caps increase.   'This time around I think we need to reform the H-1B program first.', says John Miano, founder of the Programmers Guild, an IT professional organization opposed to H-1Bs."

Neal Ross _News with Views_
Flake, Gutierrez, Kennedy, McCain and their ilk continue to float proposals to worsen excess immigration problems

Glenn Stansbury & Manuel Sousa _San Jose Mercury News_
Qualified workers can be found right here: Take sanctuary cities' cops' argument to conclusion
"I read the article on H-1B visas (Page 1C, April 4) after visiting a job fair in Santa Clara.   I must ask: Where were Oracle and all these companies who are trying to find workers?   There are bright people here who are willing and able to work.   Just go to any open house, job fair or career counseling center.   Before I am dismissed as another uneducated wannabe, I will let you know that I have a bachelor of science degree in computer science and an MBA, and it is very rough to find employment...   It makes sense that Bay Area police departments refuse to report suspected illegal immigrants to the federal authorities (Page 1A, April 5).   If they were to pursue illegal immigrants, they would indeed lose the tenuous trust of the immigrant communities.   Taking this sort of thinking to the next level, will the police now look the other way when a bank is robbed or a car is stolen, to retain the trust of the bank-robbing and car-stealing communities?"

Rebuttal to H-1B Shortage Claims

_Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)_
No shortage of qualified scientists and engineers in America

  "The prevailing ideas entertained by [Jefferson] & most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, & politically.   It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of that day was, that somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent & pass away." --- Alexander Stephens 1861 April "CornerStone Speech" at Savannah, GA (quoted in E. Mcpherson 1865 _The Political History of the Great Rebellion_ pg 103, quoted in Harry V. Jaffa 1994 _Original Intent & the Framers of the Constitution_ pg 46)  



_Hindustan Times_
Four Indians held in USA for human smuggling
"The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Niranjan Maan Singh, also known as Jit Narinder Singh, and Ramesh Patel, the alleged leaders..."

David Koenig _Akron Beacon Journal_/_AP_
American Airlines' executives give themselves a huge bonus after demanding production workers tighten their belts and improve productivity over the last several years
"The president of the flight attendants' union at American Airlines wanted to tell Chief Executive Gerard Arpey that labor relations are rocky because American will give millions in bonuses to executives but not to rank-and-file workers.   Hutto-Blake says the bonuses -- which will total an estimated $175M for 1K managers -- don't match Arpey's motto to labor: 'Pull together, win together'.   So at a meeting of about 20 labor leaders and top executives, including Arpey, Hutto-Blake showed 'Collision Course', a 1980s documentary about the union-management strife that helped sink Eastern Airlines...   The pay-out this month would, at AMR's current share price, equal three-fourths of the company's $231M profit for all of 2006.   As in past years, rank-and-file employees won't get them...   But union officials say it was their members who made the payouts possible.   In 2003, with AMR on the brink of bankruptcy, they took pay cuts of 15% to 23%, helping AMR cut its labor costs by $1.8G per year and recover from a recession, terror attacks and increased competition in the airline industry."

_Cincinnati Enquirer_
Butler county sheriff Richard Jones to introduce former UN ambassador John Bolton at Miami University's Hall Auditorium at 19:00 on Tuesday

Steve Sailer _V Dare_
Jewish Genius
"Jewish success in the public sphere is one of those phenomena that is widely denounced as a 'stereotype'.   But it is as well documented as anything in the social sciences."

  "In addition, Marshall said that if the popular branches of gov't -- state legislatures, the Congress, & the Presidency -- are operating within the authority granted to them by the Constitution, their judgment & not that of the Court must obviously prevail.   When these branches over-step the authority given them by the Constitution, or invade protected individual rights, & a constitutional challenge to their action is raised in a law suit brought in federal court, the Court must prefer the Constitution to the gov't acts." --- William H. Rehnquist 1976-03-12 "The Notion of a Living Constitution" (reprinted in 1976 _Texas Law Review_ vol 54 pg 693, reprinted in Gary L. McDowell 1981 _Taking the Constitution Seriously_ pp 69-79, quoted in Harry V. Jaffa 1994 _Original Intent & the Framers of the Constitution_ pg 97)  



2007-04-08 21:15PDT (2007-04-09 00:15EDT) (2007-04-09 04:15GMT)
Andrew Dunn _Asheville Citizen-Times_
Additional guest-worker program would do harm
"Citizens of Western North Carolina woke up to some disheartening news the other week.   Eleven Circuit City workers in our area are losing their jobs so they can be replaced with lower-wage workers.   We can expect a lot more stories such as this if Congress doesn't say no to President Bush's guest-worker/amnesty program...   if Congress agrees to a 'comprehensive immigration' package that includes a guest worker program, we can say goodbye to the American middle class...   Blue-collar workers aren't the only ones who face extinction if guest worker/amnesty legislation passes.   M$, Intel and others in the technology industry are pressuring Congress to increase the number of engineers from India, Pakistan and [Red China] who can be imported on H-1B visas to take American jobs.   The United States has never had a shortage of engineers, despite what the globalists say.   Silicon Valley lost about 100K engineering jobs after the dot com bust.   American universities graduate thousands of innovative, American engineers every year.   H-1B visas are a ruse to legally import low-wage foreigners, train them, and then boost profits by using them effectively in out-sourced Asian plants.   Communist China is already starting to sell itself as a bio-tech and pharmaceutical out-sourcing center.   Employees at North Carolina's Research Triangle Park and bio-tech companies in Winston-Salem should be concerned."

Larry Dignan _ZD Net_
CIO salary survey
"In an examination of proxy statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission filed from January 1 through April 5 there were 13 CIOs who made more than $1M.   Companies typically list their five highest paid executives in their proxy statements.   CIOs often don't make the cut but are increasingly turning up.   Another trend: CIOs and former CIOs seem to be appearing on company boards more often."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
H-1Bs are not just 5% of the tech work-force
"One of the standard lines of the industry lobbyists is, 'Only 5% of our work-force hold H-1B visas.'   I've always countered that this figure is very misleading.   First, these figures are for a firm's workforce in general, including the secretaries, marketing people, accountants, etc.   If the firm were to disclose the number of H-1Bs in their engineering work-force, the percentage would be quite a bit higher.   Second, the usual 5% figure doesn't include workers who hold H-1B but are 'rented' from other companies [i.e. via bodyshops].   Finally -- and this is my reason for posting the article below -- historically most H-1Bs in the tech area have ultimately gotten green cards.   They then become permanent fixtures in the work-force, thus swelling the labor pool.   This reduces wages, and most importantly, fuels the rampant age discrimination in the industry.   In light of that third point, the following passage in the [article by Jessica Mintz, M$'s AP stringer] is of interest:
Employers seek H-1B visas on behalf of scientists, engineers, computer programmers and other workers with theoretical or technical expertise.   In M$ Corp.'s case, about one-third of its 46K U.S.-based employees have work visas or are legal permanent residents with green cards, said Ginny Terzano, a spokes-woman for the company.
Get that?   One-third!   So you can see that it's not 5% after all.   I must hasten to add that when an H-1B gets a green card, that worker becomes my fellow American and I fully support his/her right to work here.   But my point, again, is that there are permanent effects here that must be taken into account.   True, once a worker obtains a green card, he/she is no longer exploitable.   But that is still young, and thus H-1B provides a continuing supply of young workers even after they get green cards, and thus facilitates the ability of employers to avoid hiring older (age 40+ or even 35+) Americans.   Again, this is the dirty little secret about H-1B.   That's why the 'instant green card' proposals, such as the F-4 visa in the SKIL bill, are NOT the solution to the H-1B problem but instead exacerbate that problem.   IEEE-USA et al are making a huge mistake by making common cause with the industry lobbyists on this."

2007-04-09 14:46PDT (17:46EDT) (21:46GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
US filed piracy complaints with WTO
"Amid rising tensions with Beijing, U.S. trade officials on Monday said they would bring two complaints to the World Trade Organization, both stemming from long-standing complaints about [Red China's] lack of enforcement of copyrights and trademarks on books, music, videos and movies...   One U.S. complaint charges that [Red China] has failed to make needed changes to its legal framework to ensure a sufficient crack-down on piracy.   The other complaint charges that [Red China] has failed to meet its WTO obligations to remove barriers to trade in books, music, videos and movies...   Schwab's news conference featured a table piled with counterfeit items -- including DVDs, books, CDs and lighters -- that trade officials said were obtained in [Red China].   The Motion Picture Association of America, a powerful trade group that represents the U.S. film industry, applauded the decision.   'This was a welcome and logical next step in efforts to spur progress in [Red China].', said MPAA CEO Dan Glickman.   'Fair market access and respect for the intellectual property of other countries are basic conditions of membership in the global community which [Red China] committed to live by when it sought acceptance into the WTO.'...   [Red Chinese] judicial officials recently ruled that vendors caught with 500 or more counterfeit items could face criminal prosecution, down from the previous threshold of 1K, Schwab said."

John Lantigua _Miami Herald_/_Palm Beach Post_
Gangs growing in rural Florida
Known Gangs
"It is spray-painted in blue with the number 13...   Southside 13 members either are affiliated with the violent national gang Sur 13 or at least want to be...   near his thumb, a triangle of three dots.   They stand for mi vida loca -- my crazy life -- the national motto of Latin gangs...   Miami-Dade investigators have reported more national gangs like the Bloods recruiting teens in suburban parts of the county.   A Bloods member was beaten up as part of an initiation inside the bathroom of a South Miami-Dade middle school, investigators said...   Unlike big, [international] gangs like MS-13, local groups tend to be small and disorganized, with names like Lauderdale Manor Boys or Parkway Gangstas."

Frank Hayes _Computer World_
H-1Bs and students
"It turns out that the much-lamented decline in CS students maps almost exactly to the dot-com boom and bust -- which matches up pretty closely with actual IT industry employment...   According to freshly updated statistics from the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, interest in CS as a major was flat at U.S. colleges until about 1994.   Then it took off like a rocket, reaching a peak in 2000.   That's right -- as the Internet soared, so did the number of kids who wanted a piece of that action.   Then, as the dot-com economy fell off a cliff, so did CS's popularity as a major.   By 2004, it was back down to pre-boom levels."
graphs of data from the Digest of Education Statistics

_Media News Wire_/_US DoJ_
11 members of Cuban alien-smuggling ring indicted

Jose Martinez _FIU Beacon_
Violence and corruption are still problems in South Florida
"With the massive influx of individuals from every corner of the world into the confines of Miami-Dade County, there has been an accumulation of wealth and affluence within in a relatively small geographical area.   Along with this overwhelming immigration of wealthy outsiders, there has been a rampant scourge that has threatened to shatter this equilibrium -- this divisive force is none other than crime.   As the cost of living has ballooned to unprecedented heights, many individuals belonging to the poor and underprivileged classes have taken to criminal endeavors, in an effort to scrape together some means of supporting themselves.   This is evident in the prevalence of robberies within Miami-Dade County, which boasted 65,011 robberies, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts, combined this year...   An overwhelming majority of the 89 murders, which took place in the city of Miami alone, can be attributed to gang activity.   There needs to be a more concerted effort on behalf of law authorities to apprehend and identify inner-city gang members.   City of Miami Police identified 617 gang members in 2006, and apprehended a mere 113.

Victor Manuel Ramos _Orlando Sentinel_
Immigrants and illegal aliens see Florida as a path to American dream
"The immigrant population has nearly quadrupled in Metro Orlando, from about 77K in 1990 to at least 302K in 2005.   More than 3.2M foreigners of different immigration statuses and national origins lived in Florida in 2005, the last year for which updated figures are available.   An estimated 850K were in the state illegally, but most have some sort of temporary or legal status.   Tens of thousands enter under visas for specialty workers or under student visas for higher education, and thousands of others seek asylum from political oppression or refuge from war...   more than 4,700 refugee applicants who were admitted to Florida in 2005...   He arrived with an H-1B visa for specialty workers.   More than 43K immigrants entered Florida in 2005 with employment-based visas for 'specialty occupations' [H-1B visas]...   More than 122K immigrants became permanent residents in Florida in 2005.   Orlando's number of new residents ranged from 4K to 6K per year between 2002 and 2004.   More than 10K became permanent residents in 2005...   More than 37K immigrants entered Florida in 2005 with visas for 'students and exchange visitors' [F and J visas]...   There is a back-log of about 9,600 [refugee asylum visa applications] in Orlando...   More than 30K Cubans became residents, mostly under act provisions, in 2005...   He had been in the U.S. before, first in the late 1980s as an exchange student in Bantam, CT, and later in the mid-1990s with a student visa to study at Pennsylvania State University.   It was a 2002 visit to Walt Disney World that worked its magic...   years of experience as a marketing executive for Cargill, a Minnesota-based multi-national.   He got the job and flew in from Caracas, Venezuela, with one of the coveted H-1B visas that the U.S. doles out every year to temporary workers with 'specialty occupations'.   They are people who bring talents and job skills that are either in short supply or could benefit a growing sector of the economy.   After one recent day of work in February, Ojeda found a small envelope waiting for him at home.   It brought him the 'permanent resident card' -- popularly known as a 'green card' -- authorizing him to live and work here permanently.   His wife and children also received theirs...   He is seeking an industrial-engineering degree at UCF, hoping to land a job after graduation with a military or aerospace contractor in Central Florida."

Frosty Wooldridge _American Chronicle_
America's Ugly Ending

_FAIR US_/_PR News Wire_
Bush speech calls for same old amnesty for illegal aliens

Donald A. Collins _V Dare_
Lack of arrests of illegal aliens in Los Angeles, protesting latest amnesty proposals, has many US citizens incensed

Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Blacks crushed by illegal alien & immigration job grab
"Here is the March job story by racial group: Total employment: +335K (+0.23%); Hispanic: +84K (+0.42%); Non-Hispanic: +251K (+0.20%); White: +446K (+0.37%); Black: -166K (-1.03%).   IOW, in percentage terms, Hispanic job growth was more than twice that of non-Hispanics.   (Some 40% of Hispanics are foreign born, so they are a good proxy for the displacement of American workers by immigrants.)   The Hispanicization of the U.S. work-force is happening, or course, because immigrants are cheaper than U.S.-born workers.   Many are paid 'off the books' -- freeing their employers of the onerous burden of pay-roll taxes and unemployment compensation...   In 2007 March, VDAWDI (the V-Dare.com American Worker Displacement Index) rose to 121.6, up from 121.3 the prior month, and yet another all-time record."

S&P 5001,444.61
10-year US T-Bond4.75%
crude oil61.51
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading

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

  "Aristotle teaches that the world is naturally so ordered that good men tend to prevail in the end.   Machiavelli teaches that force & fraud are justified because the world is naturally so ordered that good men finish last." --- Robert L. Stone (writing in Harry V. Jaffa 1994 _Original Intent & the Framers of the Constitution_ pg 136)  


2007-04-10 (5767 Adar 19)

Geoff Davis with "Bob", "Eric", "Peter Fiske" _PhDs_
Congress, PhD production and The Gathering Storm
"It turns out areas of 'National Need' are generic fields like the physical sciences.   Thus, 5K new graduate fellowships would result in a very large increase in PhD production at a time when many are questioning how to employ current PhD production.   In summary, The Gathering storm report recommended a large INCREASE in the supply of PhDs in the physical sciences ('areas of national need')...   One of the key points is that while there is discussion of reducing PhD production in the U.S., bills have been introduced in Congress in response to the NAS Gathering Storm report that will do just the opposite, in a very significant way.   Currently, the average working scientist, post-doc, or graduate student has had basically no say in the formation of these bills...   'Reduced economic opportunities in some fields relative to others may be an important factor driving native students to enter particular occupations and avoid others.', [wrote] George Borjas...   the economic forces that depress wages in such immigrant-heavy occupations as off-the-books baby-sitting and washing restaurant dishes also apply to the incomes of those far higher up the education ladder, such as molecular biologists and computer engineers.   Many people appear to believe that extensive schooling insulates workers from the iron law of supply and demand.   A recent paper by Harvard economist George J. Borjas shows, however, that even for doctorate-level researchers, 'the supply-demand text-book model is correct after all'.   Unlike most economic analysts, Borjas focused not on what foreign-born scientists add to the scientific enterprise or society as a whole but on what their presence costs individual American scientists.   For post-docs and other early-career Ph.D.s in a number of fields, unfortunately, the picture he paints isn't pretty...   My experience is limited in this area.   I was very active in this topic in the early 1990s when the last job drought occurred (in the Physical Sciences back then).   We organized a group of about 15 like-minded young scientists and we did several things: We contacted similarly-minded young scientists currently working as Hill staffers -- most through the AAAS Congressional Science Fellowships.   They helped us understand who to write letters to.   Surprisingly, the number of letters was not large -- they were sent to specific Congresspeople in specific committees -- and the letters outlined the specific problem with PhD over-production, the ramifications for US science and competitiveness, and (most importantly) we outlined several specific and actionable things that could be done to address the issue.   The letters were 1.5 pages, and signed by all of us.   We wrote several editorials for rags such as Science, Nature, The Scientist, etc. in which we reiterated the points in our letter.   Many of these were published.   One of the Hill staffers we contacted eventually had her Congressman/boss sponsor a hearing on science training and PhD production.   Eventually, this Congressman sponsored a bill and presented it in Congress.   By the time #3 happened the job situation was clearing up -- the drought gave way to new interest in non-traditional paths such as the exciting dot-com bloom.   At one point in 1999 there began to be some hand-wringing among some science policy folks about how the dot-com rush was sucking away so many qualified PhDs from research."
Richard Gallagher The Scientist Are we training too many scientists?

Keith Phucas _Times Herald_
Illegal alien sweep netted dozens in Montgomery county Pennsylvania
"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers working with local law nforcement rounded up 37 criminal and illegal aliens in Montgomery County last week..."

Matt Barnwell _Macon Telegraph_
Senator Saxby Chambliss says US forces need to be in Iraq

G. Robert Dieckmann _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
Low quality work, worker glut and talent shortage whining: College is nor for everyone

John Lillpop _News Blaze_
Amnesty is to illegal aliens as time-lines are to terrorists

John Kleinhenz _Arizona Republic_
Cut off jobs, cut off illegal alien invasion
"Suppose I had a very large tree, an invasive species that was robbing the soil of water and nutrients as well as sunshine from my other formerly thriving trees.   Now, I could deal with the nuisance tree in many ways.   I could remove some of the countless leaves from the tree (illegal aliens).   Or I could chop off some of the branches (increase border security, try to stop those who traffic in illegal aliens).   I could even withhold water and fertilizer from the tree (funding for the illegals for school, health care, etc).   Or I could eliminate the tree altogether by removing the roots (employers who hire illegal aliens), thereby removing the reason for the influx of illegal aliens in the first place.   Sounds simple, doesn't it?   Time to get the ax."

Paul Lin _Taipei Times_
Red China driving out Taiwanese businesses

2007-04-10 04:00PDT (07:00EDT) (11:00GMT)
Jessica Dolcourt _CNET_/_ZD Net_
Tech workers do something different

David Sirota _Huffington Post_
Great Labor Shortage Lie
Tom Paine
"The only challenge when reading the business press is to get through the corporate PR.   But if you have the patience, you will find out what's really going on and who is lying to you.   This week's piece in BusinessWeek on the job market is a good example.   [Economists, of course, will tell you there's no such thing as a labor shortage.   From a worker's viewpoint, many so-called shortages could quickly be solved if employers were to offer more money.   And worldwide, millions of people still can't find jobs.   The strongest evidence that there's no general shortage today is that overall worker pay has barely outpaced inflation.   In the U.S.A., the share of national income going to corporate profit, rather than, say, labor, is hovering around a 50-year high.   With so many people newly available for work in [Red China], India, and the former Soviet Union, the only thing that could cause a real shortage would be 'a global pandemic that kills millions of people', Harvard University economist Richard B. Freeman wrote in a research paper in September.]   We are expected, for instance, to ignore academic studies published recently by the National Academy of Sciences showing that, in fact, there is no shortage of high-tech engineers here in America.   We are expected to ignore the data showing that companies are using the H-1B program to drive down domestic workers' wages by forcing them into competition with imported workers from impoverished countries.   We are expected, in short, to believe that lay-offs, wage stagnation and pension/health care cut-backs have absolutely nothing to do with corporate executives trying to line their own pockets, and everything to do with workers themselves -- and we are expected to believe all this at the very same time new government data shows that the share of national income going to wages is at a record low, and the share going to corporate profits is at a record high...   The Great Labor Shortage Lie (related, of course, to the Great Education Myth -- the one I've debunked before that claims all of working America's problems are due to a bad education system, and that if we just fixed our education system, everything would be great for workers).   There's no labor shortage -- there's a cheap labor shortage, because, as the free market fundamentalists all love to say, supply and demand rules everything.   And if that's the case - then there's no way you can have a real labor supply shortage at the very same time wages (the monetized manifestation of employer demand for labor) continue to stagnate...   The reason Big Business groups like the Chamber of Commerce support illegal immigration is because large employers want a pool of desperate workers to either employ at slave wages or to use as a threat to leverage wage concessions out of domestic workers.   Put another way, the Big Money interests want to preserve a tool to rig the labor market so as to make sure its natural dynamics are never allowed to work to raise wages here at home.   And politicians like McCain whose campaigns are funded by these same Big Money interests will do anything to help them."

2007-04-10 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs & Christine Romans _CNN_
Tuition and fees
Lou Dobbs: New evidence tonight of the war on the middle class.   Students entering 4-year public universities are far richer today than at any other time in the past 35 years.   And as Christine Romans now reports, UCLA examined 40 years of data and found that rising fees and tuition in America's public universities are driving many middle class and lower-income students away from higher education.
Christine Romans: Incoming college freshmen today come from families earning 60% more than the national average.   UCLA researchers find, "...not only do college students come from more economically advantaged homes than their predecessors, but the gap is widening".   [There is evidence] that tuition increases make college unattainable for millions.   Tuition has soared 35% over 5 years.   Two-thirds of students are now saddled with student debt.   Almost $135G in student aid granted last year.
Robert Shireman, Project on Student Debt: Whenever you have that much money sloshing around in the system, there are going to be industries and individuals who are looking to see if they can get a piece of it.
Christine Romans: Getting a piece of it perhaps at students' expense.   The New York attorney general says he is investigating hundreds of schools for possible kickbacks to financial aid advisers for pushing students to use "preferred lenders".
Andrew Cuomo, NY Attorney General: There should be no financial incentives to a financial aid officer, no gifts, no perks.   Make the decisions based on what's in the best interest of the student.
Christine Romans: Some of our nation's most well-known universities are under investigation for the ties between the financial aid office and the for-profit companies selling student loans.   The private loan arrangements that Cuomo is investigating are more important than ever.   Government financial aid has not kept up with tuition increases.   Pell Grant recipients are receiving about $120 less per needy student today than they were just a couple of years ago.
Lou Dobbs: And Congress cutting back over $12G in financial aid for college students who desperately need that money.   We're going in the wrong direction in so many areas in this country, but in terms of education, where is the out-cry from business?   Where is the leadership from public universities and from Congress?   And how about from the president?
Christine Romans: The idea is -- that's right.   Well, the idea that the financial aid office is somehow all tied up with these private companies that are lending to students, I mean, it just -- it just really goes against what higher education is all about.   It's not about...
Lou Dobbs: And the purpose of those school loans...
Christine Romans: Precisely.   And Andrew Cuomo said that he thinks this industry that has sort of evolved this way... that this is just like any other business, a very big valuable business.   And so obviously, people on both sides trying to enrich themselves, but what about the student?   I mean, they're saddled with a debt that's 20 years long.   $1T now is the student loan debt in this country.

Michelle Kessler _USA Today_
Tech companies caught in questionable ethics
"More than 75 tech companies have revealed ethical violations and investigations, or been criticized over the handling of ethical issues, in recent months.   It's a public relations nightmare, especially for an industry that portrays itself as innovators making the world a better place. (One of Google's corporate mantras is 'Don't Be Evil' [yet they've aided the Red Chinese rulers suppress free speech].)...   Investors should be worried about ethics, because they have a huge impact on how a company is perceived by its customers and employees, says Odell Guyton, director of compliance for M$ and an adviser for the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, a trade group.   Stock prices might be rising because once a company admits a problem, it usually sets out to fix it, he says...   A Chinese woman, Yu Ling, plans to soon sue Yahoo for turning her husband over to authorities, says Harry Wu, the head of an advocacy group that is sponsoring her.   Yu's husband, Wang Xiaoning, was arrested in 2002 after using Yahoo's e-mail and groups services to question government policies.   Last year Yahoo, Google, M$ and network-gear-maker Cisco Systems were grilled by a United Nations panel and a congressional panel about doing business in [Red China] despite these issues."

Marcus Epstein _V Dare_
3 points to puncture Bush's latest amnesty ploy

David J. Lynch _USA Today_
Even as Bush musters the courage to charge Red China with tade irregularities, imports to the USA from Red China expand
"The $46.4G first-quarter global trade surplus [Red China] reported Tuesday was twice the figure for the comparable period last year.   Exports were particularly high for the first two months of the year, as [Red Chinese] companies rushed to take advantage of a tax rebate that Beijing was slated to kill, before slowing sharply in March."

Andrea Koncz & Mimi Collins _National Association of Colleges & Employers_
2007 Spring starting salary survey

  "Is there any labor leader, any businessman, any lawyer or any other citizen of America so blind that he cannot see that this country is drifting at an accelerated pace into administrative absolutism similar to that which prevailed in the gov'ts of antiquity, the gov'ts of the Middle Ages, & in the great totalitarian gov'ts of today?   Make no mistake about it.   Even as Mussolini & Hitler rose to absolute power under the forms of law... so may administrative absolutism be fastened upon this country within the Constitution & within the forms of law." --- Julius C. Smith (quoted in Garet Garrett 1953/1992 _The People's Pottage_ pg 8)  



2007-03-10 17:25:58PDT (2007-03-10 20:25:58EDT) (2007-03-11 00:25:58GMT) Rich Lowry _Salt Lake Tribune_
Bush's failings along Mexican border compared to war in Iraq
Real Clear Politics
"Apprehensions of illegals are down across the border, an indication that fewer of them are coming.   Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies notes that the foreign-born population grew by only 500K last year, significantly off the annual pace of growth since 2000.   The administration contradicts itself on enforcement.   OT1H, it touts the success of increased border patrols and occasional work-place raids, because it realizes, politically, that it has to be seen as trying to enforce the laws.   OTOH, it argues that enforcement can't possibly work, so we have to adopt an amnesty and guest-worker program.   The rational response to the promising signs from enforcement would be to do more of it, and to avoid under-cutting its early success.   But on immigration, the Bushies are -- again, to use a term from the Iraq debate -- defeatists.   The cost of this defeatism is borne disproportionately by low-skilled, native-born workers and the [tax-victims].   Flooding the job market with poorly educated immigrants does no favors for low-skilled native workers.   It can only serve to depress their wages in what is already a difficult economic environment for them.   Camarota believes a recent uptick in low-skill wages could be related to the slowdown in the flow of foreign workers.   The burden on [tax-victims], meanwhile, is a function of the nature of government benefits.   Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation calculates that low-skill households receive $32,138 in direct government benefits and services, $10K more than the average household.   These low-skill households pay less than $10K a year in taxes, meaning they get $3 from the government for every $1 paid.   Because almost all immigrants from Mexico are low-skilled, they can only add to this fiscal drain...   Bush wants to attempt to depress the wages of higher-skilled workers, too.   He is proposing to expand the number of H-1B work visas for higher-skilled foreign workers, who tend to get paid less than their native-born counterparts.   Alan Greenspan recently conducted a thought experiment.   'Our skilled wages', he said, 'are higher than anywhere in the world.   If we open a significant window for [foreign] skilled workers, that would suppress the skilled-wage level and end the concentration of income.'   Indeed, it would.   It also would cause a political revolt."

2007-04-10 21:03PDT (2007-04-11 00:03EDT) (2007-04-11 04:03GMT)
Andrea Coombes _MarketWatch_
Production workers note firms' cuts in pension investments but few have resources to invest more

Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
USCIS deems hotel clerks and PhD Genetics Researchers to be "equally qualified" for an H-1B visa

Tom Abate _San Francisco Chronicle_
Most H-1B seekers lack advanced degrees
"Critics, mainly computer programmers, say the fact that 9 out of 10 applicants don't have an advanced degree shows that industry's motives are driven by bucks, not brains.   On Tuesday, officials of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said they had identified 12,989 visa requests that could be processed immediately because they cover applicants with master's degrees or higher credentials...   But 119,193 other requests remain in limbo...   H-1B critic Kim Berry, president of the Programmer's Guild, said the 1-to-10 ratio of master's to bachelor's candidates contradicts the argument that the program is intended for the most highly skilled workers.   He said immigration officials should hand out the remaining visas based on salary -- a proxy for skill -- rather than by chance."
Alan T. Saracevic, Deputy Business Editor _San Francisco Chronicle_
"12,989 applications got expedited processing because they were for people with master's degrees or higher from universities in the United States.   But the story over-looked that qualifier and incorrectly reported that the remaining 119,193 applications were for persons with bachelor's degrees.   In fact government officials have not yet reported how many of the remaining applicants may have advanced degrees from their native countries."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
The San Francisco Chronicle ran an article on Wednesday...   They later issued an on-line correction.   (The original story seems to have been removed from the web.)   The correction says that typically about 50% of H-1Bs have advanced degrees.   Technically, that's true.   In fiscal 2002, for instance, 30.4% had master's degrees, 11.8% had a PhD and 5.3% had a professional degree.   But it's misleading.   As we all know, it is the computer industry that forms the main lobbying force to push for the expansion of the H-1B program.   They claim that they need H-1Bs because not enough American students pursue a PhD.   But among computer-related H-1Bs, only 1.6% have a PhD.   (The H-1Bs who do have a PhD are biology post docs and the like, not workers in the computer field.)   Bill Gates has been making that 'We need H-1Bs because of a lack of American doctorates' claim, but an analysis of MSFT's H-1B applications on the DoL web page shows that the vast majority of them are in jobs that are quite ordinary, like programmer and web designer, not for PhDs.   And as I've mentioned often, the H-1B program was intended as a vehicle to keep PhD salaries down.   The National Science Foundation, a government agency, advocated this usage of H-1B, and recognized that this would drive away Americans from doctoral programs, as they would have better financial options in other professions.   This is all reminiscent of the old joke about a boy who kills his parents but throws himself on the mercy of the court on the grounds that he's an orphan.   What I object to is the thinking, often used even by critics of the H-1B program, that H-1Bs with graduate degrees are somehow 'better'.   The fact is that they are hired for cheap labor too, as my analysis of the Intel H-1B and green card data shows.   Intel is paying well below the national median wages for holders of master's and PhDs in engineering.   Remember, this is all perfectly legal, due to the loop-holes put there by the industry lobbyists (remember, this includes the American Immigration Lawyers Association, for whom H-1B is a major part of their business).   I'm all for bringing in 'the best and the brightest' from around the world, and have acted personally on that conviction.   But having an advanced degree is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for genius, and the vast majority of H-1Bs aren't at in genius league; far from it.   On the contrary, the foreign PhD students tend to come disproportionately from the lesser-ranked universities, David North has shown.   Kim Berry's point (which I've also heard suggested elsewhere) is a good one: If the H-1Bs are so important to society, and if they are so brilliant, why not dole them out in order of salary, instead of the lottery they'll be using now?   In fact, why not always do that?   If H-1Bs make such valuable contributions to the economy, why not give priority to the higher-paid ones?   But the employers would scream, because it's all baloney; the reporter may have erred in his numbers, but his major point -- that it is cheap labor, not special talent, which is driving this thirst of H-1Bs, is absolutely correct.   The ITAA quote is hilarious, saying that Bill Gates doesn't even have a bachelor's degree, so one need not have an advanced degree to be brilliant.   True statement, but the comparison is absurd; Bill Gates doesn't make 30% less than the median salary, which the H-1Bs do.   Needless to say, the 'readers' who quickly responded to the Chronicle's error were likely industry lobbyists.   The H-1Bs may not be 'the best and the brightest', but the industry's PR people sure are!   They watch the press like a hawk.   I wonder if the reporter, Tom Abate, (whom I'm cc-ing here) remembers a story he wrote back in 1998, reporting on what those slick PR guys did at a joint ITAA/Dept. of Commerce 'convocation' held in the Bay Area.   At the time DoC was doing whatever the ITAA wanted (to their credit, they dramatically reversed course later on), which in this case was a dog and pony show to implant in the American consciousness the idea that we had a software labor shortage and thus a need to expand the H-1B program.   A congressional staffer insisted that some dissenting voices, including mine, be included in the program.   ITAA said no, so DoC originally said no, but DoC later rescinded.   I was given a speaker slot.   But those clever ITAA people arranged the timing of that slot to coincide with then-Secretary of Commerce Bill Daley's leading of a tour group to nearby UC Berkeley!   IOW, I was given a speaking slot, but exactly at the time when the press was out on the tour.   Very slick."

Peter Brimelow _V Dare_
American Success Story

James Carlini _Wisconsin Technology Network_
H-1B jobs: Where is the shortage of skilled workers?
alternate link
"Funny how so many people lost jobs in the last couple of years and could never get anything close to what they were getting, yet many companies claimed they could not find anyone out there.   Many in the Midwest were cut from good jobs and never had a chance to return...   There is finally a Senate bill that says an American worker can apply for these jobs.   The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Grassley of Iowa and Richard Durbin of Illinois.   Hmmm.   Hopefully this bill will be a starting point for reforms in IT jobs, but I think it is too late.   There were people out in the job market for several years but many companies did not want to pay the market rate and artificially created a new fractional rate by introducing many H-1B jobs.   Salaries for data base administrators in some cases went from $80K to $90K a year to $40K by the introduction of H-1B workers eager to work here.   Where was the mainstream media spotlight on this issue?   I wrote articles about this that went back to 2002...   H-1B process is easy, but not for American workers.   Everything in finding and stream-lining the H-1B job process is out there.   From general questions to stream-lining the process.   Now if they only had something this good for U.S. citizens who have been spinning around in menial jobs for the last 6 years, maybe more would have found better jobs.   Don't kid yourself.   The overall economy has suffered because of this.   The media and all the economic pundits don't seem to see the correlation that many white-collar and technical jobs have evaporated and with that, the buying power from those jobs has also evaporated.   If you do not think so, you have to ask yourself this question: How many H-1Bs are buying new Fords, GMs and Chryslers.   Are any of them buying houses?   They send their money home, stimulate the economy back there, and do not buy into what used to be the American dream of buying a house and a new car.   It doesn't take a Ph.D. to see the effects on our economy.   Many IT people that used to buy new cars have changed their 'consumer habits' drastically.   The friend laid off from a $90K project manager job at Motorola in 2001 is looking at trying to keep his 2000 Japanese luxury car working as he tries to juggle his mortgage and other expenses in a job that pays significantly less.   If he ever buys anything else, it will be a used Japanese car and he swears he will never buy a Motorola product again.   Is he and thousands of others still bitter about Motorola's slashing jobs strategy?   Funny how the back-lash of not buying a former employer's products or services after a bitter lay-off is never factored in when looking at slumping sales.   How many former Motorola employees go out of their way to buy Samsung.   LG and Nokia cell phones today?   And more importantly, how many of their friends are also influenced by them?   That would be an interesting study and also something for HR experts to look at when they caution individuals about 'not burning their bridges' and giving a two-week notice when leaving a company, yet never cautioning CEOs of companies about bridges being a two-way street.   The same goes for the friend formerly with United who recently bought a used Lexus and has no intention of buying an American car anymore.   The common concern that I have heard from many seems to be if money is not coming in as it used to, I cannot take a chance on buying an inferior product that won't last me as long.   The longer the main-stream media does not put an objective spot-light on these issues and the real impact on the American economy, the more people will turn to other media outlets to get their news as they don't trust someone saying the economy is great while they are trying to figure out how to keep their house.   When you replace people, you also replace their buying power -- or in this case, greatly reduce it."

2007-04-11 (5767 Nissan 23)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Phony science and public policy

  "Scientific & technical research needed & still needs individual initiative & individual freedom to allow the conclusions & results reached by individuals, possibly against contrary authority, to prevail.   Legislation, OTOH, is the terminal point of a process in which authority always prevails, possibly against individual initiative & freedom.   Whereas scientific & technological results are always due to relatively small minorities or particular individuals, often, if not always, in opposition to ignorant or indifferent majorities, legislation, especially today, always reflects the will of a contingent majority within a committee of legislators who are not necessarily more learned or enlightened than the dissenters.   Where authorities & majorities prevail, as in legislation, individuals must yield, regardless of whether they are right or wrong." --- Bruno Leoni 1991 _Freedom & the Law_ pg 8  



2007-04-12 05:30PST (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 326,986 in the week ending April 7, an increase of 58,940 from the previous week.   There were 314,696 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1% during the week ending March 31, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,691,158, a decrease of 36,278 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.0% and the volume was 2,571,168.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending March 24."

Andrew Buckley _Cape Cod Chronicle_
The Sin of H-2B
"Thirteen names are inscribed on the memorial in Sears Park, 'Erected By the town of Chatham in memory of those that fell in the rebellion of 1861 to 1865.'   They are, distantly, my townsmen and kinsmen, and they must be spinning in their graves.   The town they left to give their lives fighting for the right of all free people to say 'no' has embraced a system of indentured servitude.   Or, as a recent report on guest worker programs by the Southern Poverty Law Center describes them, 'Close to Slavery'.   This is not an exaggeration.   I married an H2B guest worker.   I heard stories from her and her co-workers reminiscent of the Black Codes in post-Civil War Mississippi, company towns in the Industrial Revolution and serfdom in Central Europe.   I was disgusted and outraged that such things would happen in modern America, and especially that it would be going on in my town.   I had thought, in smug Chatham fashion, we were better than this.   The H2B process works like this...   Kind of a funny theory, though.   Increase the supply of something and the price remains the same.   This also puts an employer in the position of great power.   Many H2B workers told me they never received over-time [pay].   Or, having hired too many H-2B workers, employers would cut their work hours or 'lend' them out to other businesses.   Some were told to find a second job.   Others were told not to, but were still required to pay full rent when receiving less work than required.   Rent, deducted from their pay-checks, ate up huge hunks of their pay-checks.   They were stacked like cord-wood in small but exorbitant housing owned or controlled by the employer.   They were verbally abused by their employers, threatened with immediate return to their homes and being black-listed from future employment.   Although my then-fiancé had been hired as a front desk clerk, the employer had filed her visa petition stating she would work as a house-keeper.   What's the difference?   Well, the extra $3 an hour an employer would have had to pay for a desk clerk.   Her employer had forged her signature on her visa application, so she didn’t know...   As a selectman at the time, I asked the board to convene a meeting on the condition of H2B workers.   Officials of the Attorney General’s office and the INS attended.   After 2001 September 11, visa delays slowed workers coming to the U.S.A., and as I prepared to move to Germany, I expected local employers to adjust by trying better methods of hiring.   Maybe paying more.   Maybe offering housing.   Maybe taking advantage of the high, high rate of unemployed American blacks.   Instead, we hear the same arguments, for more people too desperate to complain or leave, as were once used to defend slavery in the America...   People who thought this way killed the 13 men memorialized in Sears Park."

2007-04-12 07:10PDT (10:10EDT) (14:10GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Import prices were up 1.7%
BLS data

Anand Giridharadas _International Herald Tribune_
Cross-border bodyshoppers corner market for H-1B visas
"But the H-1B visa is being put to a starkly different use: It is now a critical tool for Indian out-sourcing vendors to gain expertise and win contracts from Western companies to transfer critical operations to places like Bangalore."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
exceptionally good article about H-1B and off-shoring
"After an odd initial foray into the 'plight' of foreign students at Harvard who may have to return home due to lack of H-1B visas, this is an excellent article on the role of H-1B in facilitating off-shoring.   When I am asked, say by reporters, about H-1B, I rarely mention the H-1B/off-shoring connection (HOC).   It's definitely a serious issue, but I feel it focuses too much on the Indian off-shoring companies, thereby letting Intel, M$ et al. off the hook.   As I've said before, the Intel/M$ crowd abuses H-1B just as much as TCS and Wipro do.   Nevertheles, HOC certainly is a great thing to bring up in response to one of the industry lobbyists' favorite lines, 'If Congress doesn't allow us to bring in more H-1Bs, we'll be forced to move work off-shore.'   Of course this flies in the face of the industry's history.   A great rejoinder to that line was given by Eileen Appelbaum ('Searching for Skills' Lorraine Ash, Gannett News Service, in the Asbury Park Press 2005 August 15):
But Eileen Appelbaum, an economist and member of a National Research Council committee that studied the impact of H-1Bs on the U.S. economy, does not accept the way the H-1B option is typically framed: One can have an H-1B worker in an American job, or lose that job to exportation.   Industry said in 2001, 'Let us have the H-1B visas and we'll do the work here, or you can say no and we'll just move the work off-shore.', she said.   'Well, they got all the H-1Bs they wanted, and they still moved work off-shore.   In 2005, that's an argument industry can't make with a straight face.'
Unfortunately, the industry is STILL making that argument today, because the lobbyists know that this evokes a visceral response, along the lines of, 'We can't lose the IT industry like we lost the electronics industry, so we better bring in the H-1Bs.'   Thus, even members of Congress sit up and take notice when HOC is pointed out to them.   Recall too that in the NPR show I discussed earlier this week, the host really dwelled on it, castigating the 2 industry lobbyist guests who kept ducking his questions on HOC.   HOC is not news.   It was discussed in that National Research Council report in 2001.   Professor Ron Hira's work later even quantified HOC, showing that the typical setup for an off-shoring project is to have one worker on-shore (as an H-1B or L-1) for every 2 workers off-shore.   (See Ron Hira 'U.S. Immigration Regulations and India's Information Technology Industry' _Technological Forecasting & Social Change_ 2004.)   The on-shore worker handles liaison, gets training, etc.   A February article in Businessweek also highlighted the problem (see my critique).   But I must say that the enclosed article is really good.   It does the best job I've seen so far in explaining exactly how HOC works.   It is includes some block-buster sound bites, such as this one, by an Indian government official, no less:
'It has become the out-sourcing visa.', the Indian commerce minister, Kamal Nath, said by telephone this week while attending global trade talks in New Delhi, at which India is pushing the United States for a larger H-1B quota.   'If at one point you had X amount of out-sourcing', he said, 'and now you have a much higher quantum of out-sourcing, you need that many more visas.'
There are a couple of little glitches here and there in the article -- Sergey Brin immigration to the U.S.A. as a child with his family, NOT as an H-1B, for instance, and I disagree with the notion that H-1B is fine as long as the workers get green cards--but all in all, this is one of the best articles I've see this year.   Oh, and what about those foreign students at Harvard, whom the Harvard Crimson has said are so brilliant but who supposed will be forced to return home, with the U.S. losing their talents?   For those that ARE brilliant (no, a Harvard degree doesn't guarantee that), they have other options besides H-1B.   There is the O-1 Visa for Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, and someone of outstanding talent can apply for self-sponsorship for a green card under the National Interest Waiver."

Joseph Rhee _abc_
State Farm internal e-mail messages show engineers complained of pressure to change damage analyses

Eric Lundquist _eWeek Channel Insider_/_Ziff Davis_
A fresh approach is needed to resolve the H-1B visa dilemma
"What if each company that hires an H-1B worker also promises to fund either the education of a promising U.S. high school student or retrain and pay an older technology worker?   Companies would get as many H-1B workers as they like, and their calls for innovation in education and retraining would have to be backed up by real dollars invested in specific workers for the U.S. technology work force.   There may be lots of reasons (many of them financial) why immigrant-neutral will never get past this column, but I haven't heard any other, better ideas so far on the H-1B dilemma."

Alan Scholl _Prison Planet_
Texas legislature is taking on the NAFTA super-high-way
"In a measure that passed the House yesterday, representatives voted to place a two-year moratorium on construction of toll roads in the state.   According to the Brenham (Texas) Banner-Press, the bill 'would put the brakes on the Trans-Texas Corridor, a super-high-way that a private firm received a contract for earlier this year'.   The measure was sponsored in the legislature by state representative Lois Kolkhorst.   'This is us tapping the brakes, looking before we leap... into contracts that last 50-plus years.', Kolkhorst said of the measure.   The state of Texas had previously contracted construction of the parts of the highways to the Spanish firm Cintra-Zachry which would build and operate the toll roads of the corridor.   'It boils down to whether the 10th largest economy in the world (Texas) can build its own highways or if we're going to give private equities the chance to take all the profits from Texas.', Kolkhorst said according to the San Antonio Express-News."

Peter Cohen _MacWorld_
Apple will delay release of 10.5 "Leopard" until October because of higher priority work on iPhone release in June
San Jose Mercury News
Die Welt

_Liberty Papers_
Youthful Indiscretion

Paul Gottfried _V Dare_
Conservatives, Neo-Conservatives, Paleo-Conservatives: What next?

Grant Gross _InfoWorld_/_IDG_
CEOs demand more hand-outs from federal government
"The council has already set up meetings between tech CEOs and 2008 presidential hopefuls, he added...   But U.S.-based tech worker groups such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-USA) have opposed a higher H-1B cap, saying companies use the program to hire foreign workers for less money than U.S. workers would receive.   Some companies also abuse the system by giving preference to lower-wage H-1B workers, IEEE-USA has charged."

2007-04-12 (5767 Nissan 24)
Frank J. Gaffney _Jewish World Review_
The film PBS doesn't want you to see: "Islam vs. Islamists"

_University of Pennsylvania_
Wharton 125th anniversary economic summit

_Aero-News Network_
Allied Pilots Association challenge large executive bonuses at American Airlines
"'It is clear that management is trying to divert attention from the real issue of executive compensation by engaging in a media stunt.', said APA President Captain Ralph Hunter.   'We have been telling management for more than a year that they created an untenable situation when they broke the promise of shared reward in return for shared sacrifice.   Now they are adding insult to injury by implying that the unions would promote or condone any activity in violation of the law.'...   'Rather than spending time trying to shift focus away from the issue at hand, management needs to acknowledge that it has created a serious problem with the disparity in income recovery between executives and rank-and-file employees.', he said.   'They then need to fix the problem and fix it quickly.'"

Lisa Panora _Boston Globe_
Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.

  "No truly scientific result has ever been reached through group decisions & majority rule.   The whole history of modern science in the West evidences the fact that no majorities, no tyrants, no constraint can prevail in the long run against individuals whenever the latter are able to prove in some definite way that their own scientific theories work better than others & that their own view of things solves problems & difficulties better than others, regardless of the number, the authority, or the power of the latter.   Indeed, the history of modern science, if considered from this POV, constitutes the most convincing evidence of the failure of decision groups & group decisions based on some coercive procedure & more generally of the failure of constraint exercised over individuals as a pretended means of promoting scientific progress & of achieving scientific results." --- Bruno Leoni 1991 _Freedom & the Law_ pg 148  


2007-04-13 1743-04-13 Thomas Jefferson was born

Phyllis Schlafly _Bend Weekly_
US jobs continue being flushed over-seas
"Corporations [executives] whine that H-1Bs are needed because of a shortage of Americans with skills, but major studies at the University of California Davis and Duke University conclusively prove we have thousands of unemployed or underemployed Americans with all the needed technical skills.   Nobel economist Milton Friedman accurately labeled H-1Bs a government 'subsidy' to enable employers to get workers at a lower wage.   The best way to deal with the demand for a limited number of H-1Bs would be to auction them off, so then we would find out if they are really needed and how much they are worth.   An auction would enable taxpayers to get some return on the H-1B subsidy instead of the current system that allows corporations to influence congressmen with campaign contributions and pay high-priced lobbyists to get legislation to increase the number.   Contrary to corporate propaganda, H-1Bs are not an alternative to [off-shoring] skilled jobs but a vehicle to promote [off-shoring].   H-1Bs enable corporations to bring in foreigners, train them in American ways, and then send them back to guide [off-shored] plants in Asia.   For years we've been told that it's OK for our manufacturing jobs to be out-sourced over-seas because the United States will always keep the technology, engineering, innovative, service-industry and white-collar jobs.   Even when service-industry jobs began to be [off-shored], we were told, those are just low-skill tasks like answering customer inquiries...   IBM reduced its American work force by 31K while increasing its Indian staff to 52K.   Citigroup, which already has 22K employees in India, plans to eliminate 26K jobs in the U.S.A. and increase its Asian work force by another 10K where the pay is lower...   [Off-shoring] reduces good American jobs, our standard of living, our national security, and our world leadership.   This massive change in our economy should be Page One news, but you have to look on the lower half of the inside pages of pro-globalism newspapers...to find the facts...   one of the most prominent advocates of free trade, professor Alan Blinder, now says that free trade can put 30M to 40M American jobs at risk, mostly from [off-shoring].   Blinder is one of the United States' most influential economists.   A professor at Princeton University with a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he is a former Federal Reserve vice chairman and adviser to several presidents.   For years, he has been peddling the notion that free trade enriches the United States.   Blinder just got around to looking at the facts, and the facts changed his views.   He ranked 817 occupations to identify how likely each one is to go over-seas.   The most vulnerable jobs are bookkeepers, accountants, computer programmers, data entry keyers, medical transcriptionists, graphic designers, and financial analysts.   Blinder now says that the millions of U.S. jobs that have already gone to Asia are 'only the tip of a very big iceberg'.   Blinder is not the only prestigious economist who is having second thoughts.   Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson, who wrote the principal textbook used in university economics classes, is now criticizing globalization and admitting that rich countries aren't always winners from free trade."

Dr. Roderick T. Beaman _Ether Zone_
Handicapping the presidential election of 2008
"I have been saying for years that 2008 will be the last free national elections.   I did not anticipate the candidacy, and the response to it, of Ron Paul, who is the only hope to avert the coming disaster."

Douglas Goodgion _Washington Post_
The bright, innovative workers are right here
"How must a young American feel reading this item, knowing that he or she has to compete not only with fellow graduates in our country but with job applicants coming in from over-seas as well?   If our own children don't get hired, how are they going to be able to repay their student loans?   This is very unfair.   I fault our government and private industry for accepting job applications from foreigners when we have enough qualified people in the United States to fill many of those positions."

Bhattacharjee _AAAS Science_
Yet another study found foreign high-tech guest-workers are paid less

2007-04-13 06:05PDT (09:05EDT) (13:05GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
PPI up 1% seasonally adjusted: 3.2% over last 12 months
BLS data

2007-04-13 07:25PDT (10:25EDT) (14:25GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 88.4 in March to 85.3

Avni Patel _abc_
US executives lobby against protections for workers in Red China
"'U.S. corporations have used their considerable power and influence there to weaken the labor laws that are being proposed.', said Ellen David Friedman, a U.S. labor organizer who's worked with developing trade union groups in [Red China].   'They are in essence acknowledging that what they have liked about doing business in [Red China] is the very, very cheap labor and the low level of enforcement.'...   Several key provisions they took issue with, such as a requirement that employers negotiate with union workers over work-place conditions and large scale lay-offs, were then removed from a second draft of the law."

Colin Nickerson _Boston Globe_
T. rex proteins match those of chickens
"Scientists at Harvard were able to isolate 7 tiny strips of collagen protein from soft tissue found in the thigh bone of a tyrannosaurus rex fossil recovered earlier in the decade from beneath 60 feet of sand-stone ledge in Montana's Hell Creek formation...   The same researchers also reported that they isolated 70 protein sequences from a mastodon that died more than 160K years ago.   Until now, the oldest positively-identified proteins were recovered from the bones of a mammoth reckoned to be a couple of hundred thousand years old, according to Schweitzer.   DNA has been taken from the 38K-year-old bones of a Neanderthal, believed to be a prehistoric relative of modern humans."

2007-04-13 06:17PDT (09:17EDT) (13:17GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Trade deficit dropped to $58.4G in February: January deficit revised down to $58.9G
BEA reports

Lindsay Beyerstein & Larisa Alexandrovna _Raw Story_
Human trafficking of Indian guest-workers alleged in Mississippi ship-yard
"Paid $18.50 an hour, but living 20 to a trailer and fighting for spoons.   A month ago Monday, a group of guest workers from India placed a frantic 03:00 phone call to Saket Soni, lead organizer for the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice.  The workers said that armed security guards were holding some workers prisoner in the TV room of the Signal International Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, where the company's 290 welders and pipe-fitters live.   The men told Soni that Signal International -- a sub-contractor for mammoth defense contractor Northrop Grumman -- had staged a pre-dawn raid and that 6 Indian workers had been detained in the 'TV room', flanked by security guards, one of whom carried a gun.   About 200 other Indian employees at Signal were standing outside the room.   Signal says they detained the guest workers at the advice of US immigration officials, in an attempt to forcibly deport them following a labor dispute.   Though the workers were later released into the custody of community groups, the incident has shed light on a long-standing immigration problem -- the vulnerability of guest-workers who travel to the United States on H-2B visas, and their exploitation at the hands of so-called 'recruiters' and the companies they work for."

John Carroll _ZD Net_
Ending H-1B indentured servitude
"What was different about 2007?   The answer, it would appear, is that [off-shore] out-sourcers have awakened to the value of the H-1B visa and the need to have a local representative to create effective lines of communications between development teams in India and customers.   They now account for 8 of the 10 largest applicants for H-1B visas, a shift from 4 in 10 the previous year...   I am not so happy about the fact that out-sourcing firms have little interest in making their H-1B 'ambassadors' long term residents, an interest they can enforce through the artificial powers we grant them as part of the H-1B [and green card] system."

_Telecomm Careers Net_/_AP_
Lucent agreed to pay $195K in age bias case
"Lucent Technologies will pay $195K (euro144,103) to settle an age discrimination law-suit filed on behalf of a 55-year-old worker who lost his job after more than three decades with the telecommunications equipment maker, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Friday.   The EEOC filed suit last year on behalf of Thomas Cross.   After 34 years with Lucent and its predecessor companies, Cross was laid off in 2002 from his job as an estimator in the company's St. Louis Estimating Department.   The lay-off came despite a history of good evaluations, including one just before Cross lost his job in which his work was rated 'outstanding'.   The law-suit claimed Cross was let go while Lucent retained younger employees with 'lower ratings'."

2007-04-13 (5767 Nissan 25)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Long road to victory

S&P 5001,452.85
10-year US T-Bond4.76%
crude oil63.63
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading

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

  "If the abstract rights of man will bear discussion and explanation, those of woman, by parity of reasoning, will not shrink from the same test: though a different opinion prevails in the country." --- Mary Wolstonecraft 1792  



Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
Corporate executives, immigration lawyers and lobbyists are big fat liars: H-1B can be hired even when capable American workers are available and apply for the job
US DoL Strategic Plan (pdf)
"US DoL's Strategic Plan on page 35 states: 'H-1B workers may be hired even when a qualified U.S. worker wants the job, and a U.S. worker can be displaced from the job in favor of the foreign worker.'"

_V Dare_
Mexican smugglers have seized US territory
"there are armed and dangerous foreigners manning Listening Posts and Lookout Posts (LP/OPs) for at least 200 miles into US soil.   They are heavily armed Mexicans, with military and police training, who have invaded and occupied southern Arizona to protect drug runners -- who are also, of course, illegal alien smugglers.   And we have the pictures to prove it.   See full-sized map.   After working with several federal agencies in addition to documenting the details and locations of the LP/OPs itself, NumbersUSA tried to interest MSM outlets in the story—like, specifically, Dateline, FOX News, and the Washington Times and Lou Dobbs to name a few.   None -- not even Dobbs -- [has reported it]."

Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
Yoh index reveals dramatic under-payment of H-1b guest-workers

  "[W]e see apparently paradoxical instances of non-legislated law prevailing over legislated law, as a sort of unrecognized, but still effective, 'common law'." --- Bruno Leoni 1991 _Freedom & the Law_ pg 176  



Vivek Wadhwa, Gary Gereffi, Ben Rissing & Where the engineers are
"Rather than trying to match their demographic numbers and cost advantages, the United States needs to force competitors to match its ability to innovate...   Acceptance rates [rates of acceptance of offers of employment tendered] of greater than 50% are generally considered good.   Nearly one-half of the respondents had acceptance rates of 60% or higher.   21% reported acceptance rates of 80 to 100%, and 26% of respondents reported 60 to 79% acceptance rates.   80% said acceptance rates had stayed constant or increased over the past few years.   It is common in many industries to offer signing bonuses to encourage potential employees to accept a job offer.   We found, however, that 88% of respondents to our survey did not offer signing bonuses to potential engineering employees or offered them to only a small percentage of their new hires.   Another measure of skill supply is the amount of time it takes to fill a vacant position.   Respondents to our survey reported that they were able to fill 80% of engineering jobs at their companies within four months.   IOW, we found no indication of a shortage of engineers in the United States."

Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
Raising H-1B cap will accelerate loss of US jobs and technology

Steve Sailer _V Dare_
It's Official: British (a.k.a. America's Mother Country) Not Diverse At All
"Not only did immigration after 1066 play a vanishingly small role in the makeup of the offshore islanders, but even the famous invasions of previous millennia—Normans, Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, and Romans -- merely added a fairly minor overlay to the prehistoric gene pool.   Political control and even language varied in the British Isles over time.   But the oldest occupants endured, adapted, and flourished.   In the words of Oxford University geneticist Bryan Sykes in his new book Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland [published in the United Kingdom under the title Blood of the Isles]: 'We are an ancient people...'   The family trees of the English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish are overwhelmingly indigenous to the British Isles since far back into prehistoric times.   The title of Sykes' first chapter, 'Twelve Thousand Years of Solitude', summarizes this finding.   The 'average settlement dates' in the Isles for the ancestors of modern British and Irish people, he estimates, were around 8K years ago...   Sykes' team obtained DNA samples from 10K individuals in the United Kingdom and Ireland and reviewed genetic records for 40K more.   They looked at functionally trivial mutations in the Y-chromosome to group each man into clans based on patrilineal lines of descent.   And they examined mitochondrial DNA to group individuals into matrilineal descent clans...   From his data-base, Sykes concludes that the majority of the genes of the peoples of the British Isles are descended from the oldest of the modern inhabitants: Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, who began arriving 10K years ago from Continental Europe after the end of the last Ice Age, as soon as the islands became habitable again.   Global cooling had pushed modern humans out of northern Europe and down into refuges near the Mediterranean, remixing the early peoples of Europe.   (This may be one reason that, as Cavalli-Sforza has noted, Europeans are the most physically homogenous of all the great continental races.)..."

  "The BS artist... is always exposed, & in the end he can win no arguments.   He victimizes himself when he fills in factual voids with specious constructions.   Eventually he cannot identify fact from fiction, & since the 1st rule of argument still prevails -- that every argument begins with us -- his argument will finally prove to be as incredible as he...   to the same extent the BS artist may have become expert in delivering it, we have also become expert in detecting it.   That only 32% of eligible Americans goes to the polls is proof enough of the malaise from which the electorate of the nation suffers." --- Gerry Spence 1995 March _How to Argue & Win Every Time_ pg 125  



2007-04-15 19:19PDT (2007-04-15 22:19EDT) (2007-04-16 02:19GMT)
_Brownsville Herald_
Minuteman Civil Defense Corps says they've spotted 728 illegal aliens in 2 weeks
"Garza said Minuteman volunteers operating in the Altar Valley have called the U.S. Border Patrol to report sightings of 728 illegal immigrants.   He said 234 of those spotted were later apprehended.   Since the group has been deployed, Garza said its volunteers have been trying to locate new smuggling routes, which he said constantly change.   'We're having to work by moving back and forth.', he said.   'Then we wind up three or four days later right back where we started.'"

Jason D. O'Grady _ZD Net_
Apple announced Final Cut Studio 2 and Final Cut Server

2007-04-16 09:53PDT (12:53EDT) (16:53GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Capital flows into USA rose to $94.5G in February
Treasury department press release

Indian off-shoring bodyshops file lion's share of H-1B applications

Frosty Woldridge _News with Views_
Bush lacks common sense of a goose
Sierra Times

Ann All _IT Business Edge_
Regulation for H-1B program appears inevitable

Mike Sneed _Chicago Sun-Times_
Killer at Virginia Tech may have been from Shanghai
"Authorities were investigating whether the gunman who killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history was a Chinese man who arrived in the United States last year on a student visa.   The 24-year-old man arrived in San Francisco on United Airlines on August 7 on a visa issued in Shanghai, the source said.   Investigators have not linked him to any terrorist groups, the source said.   Police believe three bomb threats on the campus last week may have been attempts by the man to test the campus's security response, the source said.   The exits to the buildings where the shootings occurred were chained by the shooter, the source said."

  "The prevailing vision of the anointed is particularly adapted to politics & the tragic vision particularly ill-suited.   Any-one can see a 'problem' before one's eyes & wish to 'solve' it, or see an 'unmet need' & wish to supply it.   What is more difficult is to understand the implications of systemic causation within constrained options.   The easier & more emotionally satisfying vision is clearly the vision of the anointed.   Politicians can more readily reduce it to slogans & images, & the media can more readily dramatize it.   This is a bias inherent in the media, irrespective of the personal philosophies of print or broadcast journalists." --- Thomas Sowell 1995 _The Vision of the Anointed_ pp 256-257  



2007-04-17 02:00PDT (05:00EDT) (09:00GMT)
Froma Harrop _Seattle Times_/_Providence Journal_
New threat to skilled US workers: Off-shoring is dark side of H-1B visas
National Ledger
Detroit News
Nashua Telegraph
Houston Chronicle
"The master plan, it seems, is to move perhaps 40M high-skill American jobs to other countries.   U.S. workers have not been consulted.   Princeton economist Alan Blinder predicts that these choice jobs could be lost in a mere decade or two.   We speak of computer programming, bookkeeping, graphic design and other careers once thought firmly planted in American soil.   For perspective, 40M is more than twice the total number of people now employed in manufacturing.   Blinder was taken aback when, sitting in at the business summit in Davos, Switzerland, he heard U.S. executives talk enthusiastically about all the professional jobs they could out-source [off-shore] to lower-wage countries.   And he's a free trader.   What America can do to stop this is unclear, but it certainly doesn't have to speed up the process through a government program.   We refer to the H-1B visa program, which allows educated foreigners to work in the United States, usually for 3 years [but they can be renewed for another 3 with annual extensions after that].   Many in Congress want to nearly double the number of H-1B visas, to 115K a year [from over 85K]...   Ron Hira has studied the dark side of the H-1B program.   A professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, he notes that the top applicants for visas are out-sourcing companies, such as Wipro Technologies of India and Bermuda-based Accenture.   The companies bring recruits in from, say, India to learn about American business.   After 3 years here, the workers go home better able to interact with their U.S. customers.   In other cases, companies ask their U.S. employees to train H-1B workers who then replace them at lower pay.   'This is euphemistically called, knowledge transfer.', Hira says.   'I call it, knowledge extraction.' Another rap against the program is that it's used to depress the wages of American workers...   But 'prevailing wage' is a legalism, Hira says.   It does not translate into 'market wage'.   The median pay for H-1B computing professionals in fiscal 2005 was $50K, which means half earn less than that.   An American information-technology worker with a bachelor's degree [i.e. new grads] makes more than $50K in an entry-level job.   Businesses bemoan the alleged shortage of Americans trained to do the work.   But wait a second -- the law of supply and demand states that a shortage of something causes its price to rise.   Wages in information technology have been flat...   This vision for a competitive America seems to be a few rich U.S. executives commandeering armies of foreign workers.   They don't have to train their domestic workforce.   They don't have to raise pay to American standards."

2007-04-17 11:25PDT (14:25EDT) (18:25GMT)
Cindy Stauffer & Tom Murse _Lancaster New Era_
Virginia Tech massacre: Locals perspectives

Winnipeg Sun
Boston Globe
"Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old senior, arrived in the United States at age 8 from South Korea in 1992 and was raised in Centreville, VA, a suburb of Washington, DC, officials said.   Cho graduated from Westfield High School in Chantilly, VA, in 2003.   The gunman suspected of carrying out the Virginia Tech massacre that left 32 others dead before committing suicide was identified Tuesday as an English major whose creative writing was so disturbing that he was referred to the school's counselling service.   Cho, who was studying English literature, left behind an invective-filled note and had shown recent signs of aberrant behavior, including setting a fire in a dorm room and allegedly stalking some women.   News reports also said that he may have been taking medication for depression, that he was becoming increasingly violent and erratic, and that he left a note in his dorm in which he railed against 'rich kids', 'debauchery' and 'deceitful charlatans' on campus.   He was living on campus in a different dorm from the one where Monday's blood-bath began. Lucinda Roy, the department's director of creative writing, who had Cho in one of her classes and described him as 'troubled'.   Draft scripts for two plays allegedly written by Cho for a writing class contain 'really twisted, macabre violence', 'very graphic', 'extremely disturbing', according to a student who was in class with him at Virginia Tech.   'it was like something out of a nightmare.'   His father, Cho Sung-tae, 61, and his mother, Cho Hyang-ai, 51, were described as 'super nice'.   John Markell, the owner of Roanoke Firearms, said Cho bought a Glock pistol at his shop last month, paying $571.   Virginia Tech Police issued a speeding ticket to Cho on April 7 for going 44 mph in a 25 mph zone, and he had a court date set for May 23. South Korea expressed its condolences, and said it hoped that the tragedy would not 'stir up racial prejudice or confrontation'.   Victims were found in at least 4 class-rooms of the engineering building as well as a stair-well.   In some cases he apparently chained doors to prevent victims from escaping."

NDSU professor not surprised at Virginia Tech shoting

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
H-1B wage study by B. Lindsay Lowell and Johanna Avato
"I have long warned that analyzing H-1B wage data is a treacherous business.   Indeed, I devote an entire section in my university law journal article on the methodological issues which arise in studying H-1B wages.   (Section V.B, Methodological Issues, On the Need for Reform of the H-1B Non-Immigrant Work Visa in Computer-Related Occupations _University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform_, 2003 Fall, Vol. 36, Issue 4, pp. 815-914.)   For this reason, I often find myself being sharply critical of a study even if its findings support my point of view.   Such is the case for a new study by long-time immigration analyst B. Lindsay Lowell and Johanna Schneider (Avato), currently with the Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University.   The paper, 'The Wages of Skilled Temporary Migrants: Effects of Job Portability and Student Status', was presented last month at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America.   The paper's findings are roughly in the same direction as mine, i.e. they conclude in certain senses that H-1B workers make less than U.S. citizens and permanent residents.   Here is a brief summary from the April 13 issue of Science magazine:
...science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers holding an H-1B -- a temporary visa granted to skilled foreign workers -- earn 5% less than natives employed in similar positions with similar skills and experience earn.   It also shows that H-1B visa holders who don't job-hop make 11% less than natives and that those who enter the work-force after graduating from a U.S. university earn 16% less.   There is one group of foreigners who do not seem handicapped by their H-1B visa status, however: Those hired directly from over-seas -- 45% of the total -- make 14% more than native workers.
Sadly, none of these conclusions can be taken as valid.   The paper: (a) has severe methodological flaws, (b) is factually incorrect on H-1B regulations, and (c) fails to properly use the existing literature, notably the very references cited by the paper.   Bottom line: I regret to say that this paper is of very little value and in fact worsens the confusion on the H-1B topic.   Following is my critique of the paper.   I should mention that I am basing it on the 2007 March version, not the 2006 September extended abstract available on the PAA web site.   The paper relies solely on the use of regression analysis.   This is of course a standard statistical tool.   I use it in some of my own research on H-1B, and for that matter, have done research on regression analysis itself.   (I am a former statistics professor.)   But regression analysis can be very, very dangerous.   An excellent example (please bear with me on this, as it is of great importance) is given in Introduction to Linear Models and Statistical Inference by S. Janke and F. Tinsley, Wiley, 2005, pg. 396.   Suppose one is doing a study of factors underlying crime rates.   Specifically, Janke and Tinsley analyze real data from 1986 to 2000 in El Paso County, CO, with the following variables:
Robberies: number of robberies (per 100K people)
Income: average income in the county
Year: calendar (to gauge a time trend separate from income)
Sheep: number of big horn sheep shot (per hunter)
That last variable, Sheep, is obviously irrelevant, but Janke and Tinsley threw it in to prove their point about how misleading regression analysis can be if it is not tempered by domain knowledge.   Well, they ran the numbers, and the regression model 'showed' that the Sheep variable (and the other predictors) was 'highly significant'!   IOW, it would appear that Sheep is a big factor driving Robberies.   Why did the statistical analysis produce such a non-sensical conclusion?   The problem is that Sheep was highly correlated with Year.   (Apparently the hunters used more lethal equipment over time.)   So the 'significant' characterization of the Sheep variable was actually a reflection of the fact that both Sheep and Robberies were correlated with Year, i.e. there was a time trend in both.   There are several key lessons here:
1. One should not simply run a regression analysis and present the results as if they are 'truth'.
2. Interactions between predictor variables can be of the utmost importance, and if ignored, can lead to highly misleading findings.
3. Omissions of important predictors can [completely] distort the results.
4. Quantitative analyses without qualitative understanding of the phenomena being studied can lead to highly misleading findings.
Similar problems can result from the *omission* of relevant predictors.   If for instance Year had not been included in the above example, then the Sheep variable would have been EVEN MORE significant.   The H-1B paper by Lowell and Avato has very serious problems in this regard.   For example, they do not include 2 very important predictor variables, Industry Sector and Region.   Foreign-student PhDs in science and engineering (S&E) tend to disproportionately take jobs in industry rather than in academia (David S. North Soothing the Establishment: The Impact of Foreign-Born Scientists and Engineers on America University Press of America, 1995, pg. 64).   Without the Industry Sector predictor in the regression analysis, the higher salary effect due to Industry Sector would misleadingly show up in the predictor Foreign Student, falsely making it look like the H-1Bs get paid MORE than Americans.   Or, if the regression still says that H-1Bs get paid less, the reported gap would be smaller than what it actually is.   The same is true for Region.   H-1Bs, as with other foreign-born people, tend to cluster in the large urban areas, where wages are higher.   By omitting Region, it could falsely make it look like H-1Bs are paid more than Americans, or again under-estimate the amount that they are paid less than Americans.   I mentioned the importance of the Industry Sector and Region predictors, and the distortionary effects of omitting them, in my law journal article.   Lowell and Avato cite my article, but apparently missed this information.   They apparently did not look closely at some of the other sources they cited.   A notable example is their citing of the 2003 GAO report.   Lowell and Avato say that the GAO did an employer survey in which they found that younger H-1Bs made more than younger Americans while older H-1Bs made less than older Americans.   Here Lowell and Avato mixed 2 different aspects of the GAO study.   The GAO did do an employer survey, but the age-related findings did NOT come from the survey.   Instead, those findings came from statistical analysis of H-1B approvals and the Current Population Survey.   Not only did Lowell and Avato incorrectly cite the GAO report in this regard, but also they failed to make the important point that what the GAO did find in its employer survey was that many of the employers admitted to hiring H-1Bs because the employers could pay them less than Americans.   ([The] GAO's statistical analysis, it also had huge methodological flaws.)   It's regrettable that Lowell and Avato did not see the GAO's statement that many of the employers they surveyed admitted to using the H-1Bs as cheap labor.   (The statement is in the executive summary, thus hard to miss.)   The exact statement is the one I've often quoted: 'Some employers said that they hired H-1B workers in part because these workers would often accept lower salaries than similarly qualified U.S. workers; however, these employers said they never paid H-1B workers less than the required wage.'   Not only is important that some employers admitted to this (imagine how many do it but didn't admit it), but what is crucial is the last part of GAO's statement -- 'however, these employers said they never paid H-1B workers less than the required wage'.   This is key, as it shows that it is fully legal to under-pay H-1Bs, due to the gaping loop-holes.   As I said, I regard this as a key point, and thus I consider it a major flaw in the Lowell and Avato paper that they don't understand this.   They assume that the under-payment of H-1Bs comes from violations on the law.   This in turn causes them to misunderstand the significance of the Kirkegaard paper that they reference.   Lowell and Avato included 2 indicator variables for nationality, one for Asian origin and the other for European origin.   Let's call these 'predictors' Asian and European.   The authors found a larger positive regression coefficient for the Asian variable than for the European one.   IOW, they found that Asian H-1Bs make more than European ones.   This is in contrast to the data I obtained from the INS (for the computer-related H-1Bs only), which showed exactly the opposite trend.   For example, the median wages for H-1Bs from the UK, France and Germany were $74K, $64K and $70K, while for [Red China], India and the Philippines they were $55K, $52K and $52K.   So, why did they and I have different results?   Note carefully that their analysis is for all S&E H-1Bs, while mine is only for the computer-related ones.   If, as is plausible, the European H-1Bs tend to be less focused on the computer occupations (which are higher paying than, say biology) than their Asian counterparts, this would lead to a larger positive regression coefficient for Asian than European.   But that would not mean that Asians make more than Europeans IN THE SAME JOBS.   Once one holds occupation constant, as I said, one would then see that it is the Europeans who make more, not the Asians.   But Lowell and Avato did not do that.   They did not have variables indicating occupation, which clearly are of high importance, as seen above.   I found numerous instances in the paper which suffer from the same problems: Omission of important variables, lack of interaction terms for the variables they do have, and so on.   To keep this brief, I will not go into those, but just touch on a couple of other points.   Lowell and Avato note that well-known point that H-1Bs from Third World countries have a lower 'reservation wage', i.e. they are willing to work for less, and explain this by saying that even lower wages in the U.S. as far above what the H-1Bs would make back home.   True, but it's only part of the story.   If the H-1Bs are being sponsored for a green card, that is a non-monetary form of compensation which most H-1Bs value very highly, thus contributing to a lower reservation wage.   The authors make various errors on H-1B regulations, and this too probably caused problems with their analyses.   For example, they state that the Optional Practical Training [OPT] portion of the F-1 student visa can be renewed automatically until the student gets an H-1B visa.   I'm fairly sure this is not correct.   All in all, a very disappointing paper."

Barbara Anderson _American Chronicle_
Illegal immigration: Fool me once...

Justin Rood _abc_
GOA points out that guns in the hands of reasonable people would make schools safer
"But the Gun Owners of America leader cited facts and statistics to back up his claim.   'All the school shootings that have ended abruptly in the last ten years were stopped because a law-abiding citizen -- a potential victim -- had a gun... Not far from Virginia Tech, a killer was stopped at the Appalachian School of Law when 2 students were able to go off campus to their vehicles and get their guns which they used to subdue the killer. Sadly, not even that awkward defense was available at Virginia Tech... Isn't it interesting that Utah and Oregon are the only two states that allows faculty to carry guns on campus, [and] you haven't read about any school or university shootings in Utah or Oregon?'"

Michelle Malkin _V Dare_
Culture of Self-Defense Was Missing from Virginia Tech

  "There was in America, during the years preceding 1900 & for many years thereafter, a prevailing mood.   It was a mood of irritation.   The average American in great numbers had the feeling that he was being 'put upon' by something he couldn't quite see or get his fingers on; that somebody was 'riding' him; that some force or other was 'crowding' him.   Vaguely he felt that his freedom of action, his opportunity to do as he please, was being frustrated in ways mysterious in their origin & operation, & in their effect most uncomfortable; that his economic freedom, as well as his freedom of action, & his capacity to direct his political liberty towards results he desired, was being circumscribed in a tightening ring, the drawing-strings of which, he felt sure, were being pulled by the hands of some invisible power which he ardently desired to see & get at, but could not.   This unseen enemy he tried to personify.   He called it the Invisible Gov't, the Money Interests, the Gold Bugs, Wall Street, the Trusts." --- Mark Sullivan _Our Times_ vol 1 pg 137 reprinted in 1937 (quoted in Robert J. Samuelson 1995 _The Good Life & Its Discontents_ pp 239-240)  



2007-04-17 17:03PDT (2007-04-17 20:03EDT) (2007-04-18 00:03GMT)
_San Antonio Express-News_
A lack of tolerance at UTSA

2007-04-18 07:42PDT (10:42EDT) (14:42GMT)
Frank Morris _Dallas Morning News_
As immigration rates rise, blacks' prosperity drops
"Black Americans have suffered economically in periods of high immigration.   On the other hand, when immigration ebbed and labor supply was tight -- during World War I, for example -- African-American prosperity soared.   The current wave of immigration has been especially destructive, coming at a time of severe economic restructuring caused by globalization and out-sourcing [including off-shore out-sourcing].   Unlike previous immigration cycles, this massive influx continues with no natural end in site.   What's more, since immigrants are likely to have little education, immigration is significantly adding to the economic challenges of the under-class by importing competitors for jobs.   The effects are predictable: Wages drop, working conditions deteriorate, and the native-born are crowded out of the job market.   Education, medical care and other services are diverted to address new, unplanned-for needs.   Whole industries have organized themselves in expectation of an unending supply of foreign labor...   Even higher-skilled African-Americans are experiencing artificial competition from such programs as the H-1B visa, a cheap-labor program that computer companies are ferociously lobbying to expand...   What can be done?   Forcibly deporting all illegal aliens is neither practical [though it has been successfully done twice before].   Instead, inspired by the 1995 recommendations of Barbara Jordan's Commission on Immigration Reform, we must enforce the law, both at the border and in the workplace, and reject proposals to import more unskilled workers.   The result will be a more gradual and manageable solution, with the illegal population shrinking over time, as fewer try to come and more who are already here give up and return home."

Wayne T. Price _Florida Today_
Illegal work hurts USA
"And some employers, especially those who strategically use inexpensive illegal workers to reduce costs, can expect megafines for using employees who don't have the proper documentation.   'You can be rest assured, no one is going to get a pass on this.', said Emilio Gonzalez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS], an under-secretary position within the Department of Homeland Security.   Gonzalez spoke to 75 people Tuesday at the seventh annual Business Ethics Conference at Harris Corp. head-quarters.   The all-day conference, put on by Florida Tech's College of Business Center for Ethics and Leadership and sponsored by Harris, focused on the current debate over immigration reform and what it means to the fabric of U.S. society and business in the future...   'We love immigrants, but we hate immigration.', Gonzalez said.   'That's a very, very tough duality.'...   Gonzalez expects the number of H-1B visas -- curtailed last year -- to increase substantially in the years ahead."

2007-04-18 08:34PDT (11:34EDT) (15:34GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Foreclosures up 47% in the past year
"Foreclosure filings -- including default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions -- increased about 7% from February's levels, to 149,150, and were up 47% compared with March 2006, according to Irvine, CA-based RealtyTrac.   There was 1 foreclosure filing for every 775 households in America during March...   In California, last month's foreclosures were up by 36% from February and by 184% compared with 2006 March.   The foreclosure rate in California was 1 in 389 households."

Kelly Cadenas _UnderCurrent_
Are university mission statements promises or true commitments?

2007-04-18 13:29PDT (16:29EDT) (20:29GMT)
Josh Kraushaar _Politico_
Ron Paul: A Study in Contrasts

  "Unlike the rich & powerful in many societies past & present, relatively few professionals in America achieve success by accident of birth or by methods cruel & corrupt.   The overwhelming majority are chosen for their talents & accomplishments & simply accept the rewards that seem to come naturally under the prevailing systems of compensation in this country." --- Derek Bok 1993 _The Cost of Talent_ pp 223-224  



2007-04-18 19:44PDT (2007-04-19 22:44EDT) (2007-04-19 02:44GMT)
John Shinal & Ben Charny _MarketWatch_
EU privacy board criticized Google
"Google received an earlier letter from the Norwegian Data Protection Group, which has a representative on the regulatory body known as the Article 29 Working Party...   Composed of privacy protection authorities from each of the EU's 27 member nations, the Working Party coordinates European privacy laws, and its member commissioners over-see privacy law in their home countries.   'We recently announced changes to our logs retention policies which we believe address these concerns' raised by the Norwegian group's letter, Google Deputy General Counsel Nicole Wong wrote in an e-mail to MarketWatch.   'We speak regularly with European regulators, privacy advocates and users for their feed-back as part of a continuous and rigorous review of our privacy practices.'"

2007-04-19 05:30PST (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 315,776 in the week ending April 14, a decrease of 12,346 from the previous week.   There were 268,472 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending April 7, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,597,180, a decrease of 91,426 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,504,901.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending March 31."

Avni Patel _abc_
Having majority of seats in congress, Dems are rolling in special interest cash from lobbyists
"The campaign coffers of the new Democratic House committee chairmen have seen a big jump in contributions from lobbyists and special interests since the Democratic takeover of Congress, according to new campaign finance filings available on PoliticalMoneyLine.com...   In the past three months, the new committee chairmen have raised $2.4M in campaign contributions from PACs, the committees created by lobbyists and special interest groups to make contributions and influence elections.   'Committee chairmen act as the gatekeepers exercising control of whether legislation moves or is at a road block, deciding what is to be considered when.', says Sheila Krumholz, executive director for the Center for Responsive Politics.   'If you've developed a cordial relationship with them over time and have given them contributions, it certainly goes to your benefit.'   The chairman to receive the most PAC money was representative Charles Rangel of New York, the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, who reported raising $486,669 from PACs, compared to $7,500 during the same period two years ago.   Rangel's PAC donors compromised more than half the money he raised and represent a broad array of industries including health care, finance, transportation, agriculture, technology, retailers and organized labor."

William Greider _Nation_
The establishment is rethinking globalization
"Ralph Gomory... wrote a slender book -- _Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests_ -- in collaboration with respected economist William Baumol, former president of the American Economic Association.   Published 7 years ago, the book languished in academic obscurity and until recently was ignored by Washington policy circles...   Now Gomory is attempting to re-educate the politicians in Congress.   He has gained greater visibility lately because he has been joined by a group of similarly concerned corporate executives called the Horizon Project.   Its leader, Leo Hindery, former CEO of the largest US cable company [protected by governments from competition] and a player in Democratic politics, shares Gomory's foreboding about the destructive impact of globalization on American prosperity.   Huge losses are ahead -- 10M jobs or more -- and Hindery fears time is running out on reform...   Gomory's critique has great political potential because it provides what the opponents of corporate-led globalization have generally lacked: a comprehensive intellectual platform for arguing that the US approach to globalization must be transformed to defend the national interest.   Still, it will take politicians of courage to embrace his ideas and act on them.   Gomory's political solutions are as heretical as his economic analysis...   Gomory marveled at Singapore, a tiny city-state, as it lured American manufacturers with low-wage labor, capital subsidies and tax breaks.   The US companies turned Singapore into a global center for semiconductor production...   'The offer that many Asian countries will give to American companies is essentially this: ''Come over here and enhance our GDP.   If you are here our people will be building disk drives, for example, instead of something less productive.   In return, we'll help you with the investment, with taxes, maybe even with wages.   We'll make sure you make a profit.''   This works for both sides: the American company gets profits, the host country gets GDP.   However, there is another effect beyond the benefits for those 2 parties -- high-value-added jobs leave the U.S.A.'   [Red China] and India, he observes, are now doing this on a large scale...   The Gomory-Baumol book describes this as 'a divergence of interests' between multi-national firms and their home country.   'This over-seas investment decision may then prove to be very good for that multi-national firm [or at least its executives].', they write.   'But there remains the question: Is the decision good for its own country?'   In many cases, yes.   If the firm is locating low-skilled industrial production in a very poor country, Americans get cheaper goods, trade expands for both sides and the result is 'mutual gain'.   But the trading partners enter a 'zone of conflict' if the poor nation develops greater capabilities and assumes the production of more advanced goods.   Then, the authors explain, 'the newly developing partner becomes harmful to the more industrialized country'.   The firm's self-interested success 'can constitute an actual loss of national income for the company's home country'.   American multinationals, as principal actors in this transfer of wealth-generating productive capacity, are distinctively free to make the decisions for themselves without interference from government.   They want profit and future consumer markets.   Their home country wants to maintain a highly productive high-wage economy.   Without recognizing it, the 2 are pulling in opposite directions -- the 'divergence of interests' most US politicians ignore, evidently believing church doctrine over visible reality...   What countries want and what [executives] want are different...   Americans will be increasingly exposed to downward pressure on incomes and living standards...   Put another way, one hour of US work no longer buys as many hours of Chinese work as it once did...   First, the US government must intervene unilaterally to cap the nation's swollen trade deficit and force it to shrink until balanced trade is achieved with our trading partners.   The mechanics for doing this are allowed under WTO rules, though the emergency action has never been invoked by a wealthy nation, much less the global system's putative leader.   Capping US trade deficits would have wrenching consequences at home and abroad but could force other nations to consider reforms in how the trading system now functions.   That could include international rights for workers, which Gomory favors.   Second, government must impose national policy direction on the behavior of US multinationals, directly influencing their investment decisions.   Gomory thinks this can be done most effectively through the tax code.   A reformed corporate income tax would penalize those firms that keep moving high-wage jobs and value-added production offshore while rewarding those that are investing in redeveloping the home country's economy.   US companies are not only free of national supervision but actively encouraged to offshore production by government policy and tax breaks."

_President of India_
Corrupt IBM & India Industries Foster First Indo-Russian Mach 2.8 Cruise Missile BrahMos

2007-04-19 14:56PDT (17:56EDT) (21:56GMT)
Robert DeVries _Jurist_
Governors Brian Schweitzer of Montana & Chris Gregoire of Washington sign state statutes against REAL ID act, joining Maine and Idaho
North Country Gazette
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Ars Technica
American Chronicle
composite: "On 2007-01-26 Maine became the first state to reject the requirements, which would require that states standardize their drivers' licenses starting in 2008 or face having their citizens' identification papers made useless for entering airport security or getting federal benefits.   Idaho and Arkansas have followed.   The measure dictates that the state not spend money implementing the REAL ID act unless privacy and security concerns are addressed, unreasonable costs and record-keeping burdens are not placed on citizens, and the state receives federal money to put the act’s requirements into effect.   Further, the bill also allows the state attorney general, with the approval of the governor, to challenge the constitutionality of the act. Similar bills are pending in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Georgia, Minnesota and Massachusetts."

Library of Congress
Today in History: Lexington and Concord
National Guard Gallery
Depositions of those who were there
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Military Science brief history

_Matt Dattilo's Today in History_
Battles of Lexington & Concord
alternate feed
American Revolution: Lexington & Concord
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Tour Lexington
Patriot Resource on the skirmish at Lexington
Revolutionary Day
History of War
story of captain Samuel Whittemore
Beneath Old Roof Trees, including a roster of casualties
The Continental Line
Family of captain John Parker and his uncle Jonas Parker

  "But a codified sexual & social double standard is not common to all peoples who herd, who garden with a hoe, or who hung & gather for a living, whereas it does prevail in societies with the plow." --- Helen E. Fisher 1992 _Anatomy of Love_ pg 280 (referencing M.K. Whyte 1978 _The Status of Women in PreIndustrial Societies_)  



2007-04-19 22:00PDT (2007-04-20 01:00EDT) (2007-04-20 05:00GMT)
Jerone R. Corsi _World Net Daily_
Is Federal government wiring Socialist Insecurity payments to illegal aliens now in Mexico?

2007-04-20 11:24PDT (14:24EDT) (18:24GMT)
William L. Watts & Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US House passed bill to let stock-owners jaw-bone executive compensation
"Dubbed the 'say on pay' bill, the legislation would require public companies to allow share-holders an annual non-binding advisory vote on their company's executive-compensation plans.   It also requires an additional non-binding advisory vote if the company awards a new golden-parachute package while simultaneously negotiating the purchase or sale of the company...   'Executive-compensation packages are out of control.   We have seen case after case where top executives have slashed the jobs and benefits of their employees even while taking multi-million-dollar pay packages for themselves.', said representative George Miller, D-CA."

2007-04-20 12:07:01PDT (15:07:01EDT) (19:07:01GMT)
Nicole C. Wong _Silicon Valley_/_San Jose Mercury News_
Silicon Valley employers added only 3,200 jobs in March: Local unemployment rate dropped to 4.4%
"Employers in Santa Clara and San Benito counties added 21,500 jobs during the 12 months that ended March 30, an increase of 2.4%, according to a report from the state's Employment Development Department released today.   They added 3,200 jobs in March alone, bringing the total up to 909,900 jobs [over some undefined period]."

2007-04-20 16:03PDT (19:03EDT) (23:03GMT)
Joris Evers _CNET_
After rules were eased, Mac was hacked at CanSecWest
"The successful attack on the second and final day of the contest required a conference organizer to surf to a malicious web site using Safari on the MacBook -- a type of attack familiar to Windows users.   CanSecWest organizers relaxed the rules Friday after nobody at the event had breached either of the Macs on the previous day...   The successful hack comes a day after Apple release its fourth security update for Mac OS X this year.   The update repairs 25 vulnerabilities."

_Raw Story_
Privacy groups challenge Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick
News & Observer
"'Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick will give one company access to more information about the Internet activities of consumers than any other company in the world.', said the complaint lodged with the Federal Trade Commission.   'Moreover, Google will operate with virtually no legal obligation to ensure the privacy, security, and accuracy of the personal data that it collects.'"

Jon Craig _Cincinnati Enquirer_
Butler county sheriff asks governor and legislators for armed personnel at schools
Law Enforcement News/WLWT
Middletown Journal

Daniel C. Vock & Peter Schroeder _StateLine_
State law-makers ramp up efforts to combat illegal alien invasion

S&P 5001,484.35
10-year US T-Bond4.67%
crude oil63.38
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading

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

  "No society can exist if respect for the law does not to some extent prevail; but the surest way to have the laws respected is to make them respectable.   When law and morality are in contradiction, the citizen finds himself in the cruel dilemma of either losing his moral sense or of losing respect for the law." --- Frederic Bastiat  



_Tracy California Press_
Jobs of skilled US citizens in danger

2007-04-20 18:51PDT (2007-04-20 21:51EDT) (2007-04-21 01:51GMT)
Ted Nugent _CNN_
Gun-free zones are dangerous

2007-04-21 01:39:07PDT (04:39:07EDT) (08:39:07GMT)
Nicole C. Wong _Silicon Valley_/_San Jose Mercury News_
Employment in Silicon Valley limps along
"Employers in Santa Clara and San Benito counties added 3,200 positions in March compared with February, the state's Employment Development Department reported Friday.   Compared with a year ago, Silicon Valley had 21,500 more pay-roll jobs, an increase of 2.4%.   Economists view the annual comparison as a more important indicator than the monthly data, which is easily swayed by seasonal shifts in employment.   While the numbers suggest that the valley is not adding jobs at a faster pace than it did in 2006, a good chunk of the growth is coming from well-paying sectors like computer services and Internet service providers [bodyshopping].   Professional and business services, [more bodyshopping] and one that's a key indicator of the valley's economic [lack of] vitality, gained 800 jobs in March, up 0.5% from February.   Compared with a year ago, the valley has added 6,500 more of these jobs, a 4.0% increase...   Stephen Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto, agreed.   'We're not doing better than we did last year.', he said.   'But it looks like it's another strong year of growth.'   Silicon Valley gained about 22K jobs in 2006, with the year-over-year growth ranging from 1.9% to 2.9% each month.   The accelerating job gains were a big deal for a local job market that had been gradually recovering from the dot-com bust since employment bottomed out in mid-2005."

Angie Leventis _St. Louis Post-Dispatch_
Detention of German & Italian immigrants during WW2
"Art Jacobs, now 74 and living in Arizona, was among an estimated 11K people of German ancestry interned in the United States from 1941 to 1948, out of fear they might have allegiances with their mother country.   The internment of an estimated 120K Japanese-Americans is well-known and often the subject of school social studies classes. But the plight of German-Americans, as well as Italian-Americans, during World War II seems to have been largely lost in the annals of history.   The story of the Jacobs family and others will be on display locally this weekend in a traveling exhibit on German-American internment, hosted by the TRACES Museum Center for History and Culture in St. Paul, MN."

Robert Angle & Ken Alltucker _Arizona Republic_
Palo Verde nuclear plant software was smuggled to Iran
"Federal authorities are accusing a former engineer at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station of illegally taking software codes to Iran and downloading details of control rooms, reactors and designs of the nation's largest nuclear plant.   Officers arrested Mohammad 'Mo' Alavi, 49, in Los Angeles this month and charged him with one count of violating a trade embargo, which prohibits Americans from exporting goods and services to Iran...   Officials with Arizona Public Service Co., which operates Palo Verde, said the software does not pose a security risk because it doesn't control any of the nuclear plant's operating systems and is mostly used to train employees.   But they acknowledged that they changed procedures after the incident to prohibit former employees from accessing software when they leave the company.   No such procedure was in place when Alavi quit APS in August after working there for 16 years...   Alavi, an Iranian native who has lived in the United States as a naturalized citizen since 1976, is being held without bail in California.   Alavi's lawyer said Friday that he denies any wrong-doing...   A federal judge in Phoenix denied Alavi bail Friday, saying he posed a substantial flight risk.   'If released, it would not be difficult for him to sever electronic monitoring and leave the country by land.', Judge Neil Wake said.   'Ultimately, returning to Iran would require some effort but would not be difficult once he left the United States.   Alavi's most important associations -- family, home, business investment, intended employment and future plans -- are all with Iran, not the United States.'   Alavi faces up to 21 months in prison if convicted of the charge.   One factor in determining any sentence could be whether the software and schematics of Palo Verde landed in the wrong hands, Wake said."

Tom Head _About Civil Liberties_
Ron Paul on Civil Liberties

  "One who belongs to the most vilified & prosecuted minority in history is not likely to be insensible to the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution.   Were my purely personal attitude relevant, I should whole-heartedly associate myself with the general libertarian views of the Court's opinion, representing as they do the thought & action of a life-time.   But as judges we are neither Jew nor Gentile, neither Catholic nor agnostic.   As a member of this Court I am not justified in writing my private opinions of policy into the Constitution, no matter how deeply I may cherish them or how mischievous I may deem their disregard.   The duty of a judge who must decide which of 2 claims before the Court shall prevail, that of a state to enact & enforce laws within its general competence or that of an individual to refuse obedience because of the demands of his conscience, is not that of the ordinary person." --- Felix Frankfurter 1943 dissent in WV Bd of Ed v Barnette (quoted in Alfred H. Knight 1996 _The Life of the Law_ pg 221)  



David McNaughton _Atlanta Journal-Constitution_
How America can win job race: He almosts gets it

Natasha del Toro _Tampa Tribune_
Singing software tunes up reading
"A study in 10 Hillsborough County schools shows new computer software -- designed to improve singing -- can boost students' reading skills by more than a grade level in 9 weeks...   She said she has seen students who struggled in school embrace Tune into Reading, which a Tampa businessman started developing in 2004...   Carlo Franzblau, the software's creator...   The software license costs $200 for 9 weeks' use.   The 47-year-old entrepreneur developed Singing Coach, the original software, to help people learn to carry a tune.   He said he discovered the program's reading potential by accident, when a girl testing his product started making better grades in school.   Franzblau said he has been amazed by the results.   Since then, his family foundation has funded other studies to tweak the product into a reading tool.   He also is testing its effectiveness for foreign-language instruction."

Patricia Martell _abc_
ID theives use scanners to skim kkkredit kkkard info from RFID chips & magnetic strips

Tancredo blasted Reid for putting US soldiers in bad position
"Republican White House hopeful representative Tom Tancredo, R-CO, said Reid should be held responsible for the deaths of all American soldiers in Iraq, calling his comments 'reckless' and 'brash'."

Pamela Constable & N.C. Aizenman _Washington Post_
Rally against illegal alien invasion today

Tancredo spent week-end campaigning in NH

_Programmers Guild_
Employers are opposed to requirement to advertise jobs in USA

  "[B]ig-league politicians who covet the Oval Office want power 1st & treat everything after that as negotiable, depending on prevailing political winds." --- Isaac Kramnick & R. Laurence Moore 1996 _The Godless Constitution_ pg 159  



2007-04-22 18:56PDT (2007-04-22 21:56EDT) (1007-04-23 01:56GMT)
Peter Fimrite _San Francisco Chronicle_
Gavin Newsom vows to make SF a sanctuary for illegal aliens
"Immigration officials have said they were executing arrest warrants for immigrants who had committed crimes or were in the country illegally and had ignored final deportation orders...   Of at least 65 Marin County residents arrested in March, for example, just five had been ordered deported...   Immigration agents on Friday arrested 13 foreign nationals who were working illegally at Eagle Bag Corp. in Oakland, a packaging manufacturer whose clients include the U.S. military.   The arrests there of immigrants suspected of using counterfeit documents to obtain jobs were not related to the recent raids."

2007-04-23 09:06PDT (12:06EDT) (16:06GMT)
Amy Guckeen _Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel_
Veteran workers not being recruited
PR Inside
Reliable Plant
"Only 18% of U.S. employers have a strategy in place to recruit older workers, according to new research from Manpower Inc., [a bodyshopper] based in Glendale.   The survey of 1K U.S. companies also indicated that only 28% of employers have a strategy to retain workers past retirement age...   78% indicated they were not concerned that an aging work-force might hamper their ability to recruit and retain talented workers.  'Employers [claim] that they are having trouble finding qualified candidates... there is still time to engage a generation that is willing and able to continue working.'   The U.S. findings were part of a survey of 28K companies worldwide.   Results indicated that globally 14% of employers have strategies in place to recruit older workers, while 21% have plans in place to keep those workers participating in the work environment.   The government connection is most apparent in Japan, where only 12% of employers reported having strategies in place to recruit older workers -- 71% fewer than those having retention strategies for the aging work-force -- a difference that is likely due to the fact that the legislation is focused on extending the employment of older workers. In 19 of the 25 countries where employers were surveyed, retention strategies were more prevalent than recruiting strategies for older workers; however, none had as significant a gap between the 2 responses as Japan."

2007-04-23 11:00PDT (14:00EDT) (18:00GMT)
Phyllis Schlafly _Conservative Voice_
New awakening about "free" trade

Phyllis Schlafly _Town Hall_
Value-added taxes put US manufacturers at a disadvantage
"Imagine how it would help the competitiveness of American exporters if U.S. companies could cut their prices an average of 19% in Europe and 17% in Asia.   Imagine what it would also mean if foreign imports into the United States from overseas were raised by the same percentages.   U.S. financial generosity to our allies after World War II included giving them special trade advantages to help speed up their postwar recovery.   The United States agreed that they could rebate to their producers any indirect taxes they paid on goods they exported to the U.S.A., and they could also impose an equal charge on any U.S. products they imported.   Those nations recovered from World War II many years ago, but they still cling to what started out as a little advantage but has steadily increased to become a massively unfair advantage.   The cost to U.S. producers increased to a whopping $327G in 2006.   In practical terms, this means that the German manufacturer of an automobile exported to the United States gets a rebate from the German government equal to the indirect taxes paid in Germany, a type of tax called the value-added tax.   Since the VAT rate in Germany is 19%, the German car-maker gets a 19% tax rebate on every vehicle exported to the United States...   A U.S. manufacturer exporting an auto to Germany must pay the German government a VAT equivalent tax of 19% of the price of the car plus 19% of all the costs of transportation, insurance, docking and duties involved in getting the car to Germany.   The U.S. company gets no credit for corporate taxes it pays in the United States.   Today, 157 other countries use a VAT tax system that gives foreigners a large and unfair advantage over U.S. producers in both our markets and in foreign markets.   This 2-edged sword cost U.S. producers $327G in 2006.   But that's not all.   The VAT advantage also creates a perverse incentive for U.S. companies to move their plants and jobs to other countries so they, too, can take advantage of the VAT subsidy.   Thousands of U.S. producers have already shifted their production overseas to get the same tax break, and more are ready to follow.   Even companies that don't want to leave the United States have little choice when faced by competitors who move overseas and cut their prices.   U.S. producers face another inducement because most banks are now reluctant o lend money to companies that refuse to move offshore, particularly to [Red China].   The banks don't want to risk lending to a company facing such strong disadvantages.   The out[off-shore] out-sourcing of factories and jobs is devastating towns, counties and states all across America.   It badly reduces the tax revenues that would otherwise be paid by successful U.S. companies and their employees.   Congress tried repeatedly to address this injustice by instructing our trade representatives, in 1974, 1988 and 2002, to negotiate away the unfair VAT advantage.   Our so-called friends and 'trading partners' refused to deal with the issue, or even to talk about it.   Congress tried another tack to redress the VAT imbalance by modifying our U.S. tax system in 1971, 1984, 2000 and 2004.   But the European Union filed a case against us at the World Trade Organization in the early days of the George W. Bush administration and got the WTO to rule our legislation illegal.   Our laws were completely constitutional, but Congress decided to repeal them rather than risk a trade war.   The big question is, how can the United States offset this massive economic disadvantage that cost our producers $327G in 2006, and resulted in the loss of 3M U.S. manufacturing jobs in the last 6 years?"

2007-04-23 Colleen Taylor _Electronic News_
Corrupt House sub-committee approved bill to double funding for NIST programs
EE Times/CMP
"The bill is just the latest of several pieces of legislation proposed recently that could have potentially strong effects in the tech industry.   National trade organization the Electronics Industry Alliance expressed public support last week for 2 new bills proposing congressional [perversion] of the United States' H-1B and employment-based visa programs.   Also last week, the Patent Reform Act of 2007, a bipartisan, bicameral proposal for patent reform legislation, was introduced in the House and Senate."

Victor Rozek _IT Jungle_
Induced Labor
"A funny thing is supposed to happen in a free market economy when there is a labor shortage: wages are supposed to go up.   Fewer people chasing a surplus of jobs used to mean that the employers who wanted to fill their job openings offered better compensation than the competition.   But is anyone competing for your services lately?   Anyone throwing money at you?   I didn't think so.   In Labor Pains, an article in the 2007 April issue of the _AARP Bulletin_, Elizabeth Pope provides a telling glimpse into the corporate dilemma.   'A recent Ernst & Young survey', she writes, 'found that more than 6 in 10 large employers said boomer retirements would cause short-falls.   But 85% had no formal retention program.'   If that seems contradictory, that's because it is, but only if we accept the premise that corporations actually want to retain qualified workers.   Pope seems to believe this is just the way of things, though curiously, she provides the smoking-gun insight in the very first paragraph of her article, although never explicitly connecting the dots.   In it, she describes a boomer job fair in Arizona, which attracted some 1,200 employment seekers and was staffed by 70 companies ostensibly competing for talent.   'The garage was packed with luxury cars', a job-seeking marketing executive recalled, 'and we were all dressed to the nines, but the companies were offering $8 to $12 an hour jobs.'   Then, in a world-class under-statement he concluded: 'There was a real disconnect.'   Ya think?   As the Arizona job fair suggests, there is no shortage of qualified labor; there is, however, a shortage of cheap qualified labor...   in a time when corporations are squealing from the pangs of a labor crunch, the share of national income going to wages is at a record low, while the share going to corporate profits is at a record high...   Having deliberately depressed wages through a variety of out-sourcing and off-shoring schemes, thus pricing qualified workers out of high-tech industries, corporations are now complaining about a labor shortage."

Charles Bowden _National Geographic_
Border fence

Richard Esposito _abc_
Mississippi & Illinois join NY's effort to reform student loan system

2007-04-23 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs & Bill Tucker & Lisa Sylvester _CNN_
H-1B visas for cheap labor
Lou Dobbs: The government created H-1B visas to attract, they said, the best and the brightest workers from abroad.   But as Bill Tucker now reports, the criteria for importing that cheap foreign labor is completely -- this is your government at work -- random.
Bill Tucker: The H-1B visa might just as we'll be called the program of the completely random.   With twice as many applications as visas, the Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services doesn't look for the brightest and the best.   It simply awards the visas by random drawing.
Todd Tollefson of WashTech: Bill Gates testified in front of the Senate last month saying that we need the Einsteins of the world to come over here.   If it's a random process, how do we know we're going to get the Einsteins?
Bill Tucker: And according to a new study titled Low Salaries for Low Skills: Wages and Skill Levels for H-1B Computer Workers, 2005, we aren't getting all Einsteins.   More than half of the applications are in the lowest skill range, and only 5% are in the highest skill range.   The lowest skilled jobs are described in the visa application as "...beginning level employees who have a basic understanding of the occupation".   If this is a visa for the brightest and the best, shouldn't the statistics be reversed, with more than half being in the highest skilled category?   When it comes to salary, 84% of H-1B visa workers earned wages that were below the median U.S. wage.   And wages for H-1B tech workers averaged $12K less than U.S. workers in the same occupation and location.
John Miano: The H-1B program is not doing what it's supposed to be doing, and that is to bring in the world's best and brightest to the United States.   And what the report says is that we need to change the eligibility requirements to clearly -- more clearly define who should be getting these visas.
Bill Tucker: So, given the observed abuse of the H-1B visa program, why doesn't the government change its criteria for awarding the visas?   Well, according to a spokesman for the agency in charge of approving the applications, the random drawing is the fairest way to make sure every application is treated equally.   Now, Lou, when we asked the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services why they don't say maybe cull through the applications, sort them on priorities in terms of qualification, salary, the response was, well, the program's not set up to work that way.
Lou Dobbs: At the risk of repeating myself, unbelievable.   At what point will Americans decide that this government simply is out of control and isn't working?   Agency after agency, department after department, and to watch what is happening with the H-1B visa and to listen to Bill Gates, as I have commented more than a few times here, make those outrageously, ill-informed remarks about the H-1B visa program -- and seven-tenths of those, we should point out, of the ones that are coming into technology, seven-tenths of them, 70% of them, going to Indian companies for low-skilled, low-paid workers.   I mean, it's just -- it's nuts.   At what the point is somebody in Congress -- this is supposed to be a different Congress than the Republican Congress.   They're not supposed to be in the pockets of corporate America.   Is anybody about to wake up?
Bill Tucker: One would hope so.   Grassley and Durbin in the Senate have a reform of the H-1B legislation.   Pascrell in House has similar legislation he's about to introduce.   But I've got to tell you, Lou, there are a lot of people who think that reform is just preceding a giant increase in the program.
Lou Dobbs: Right.   It's unbelievable.   And this idiotic amnesty legislation would bring in 400K more guest workers into this country, no telling how many others.   If the American people don't awaken to the stupidity that is passing for leadership in Washington, D.C., right now, I don't know what in the world will be required.   Or if anything will be required at some point, because it will simply be too late.   Coming up here next, a vote of no confidence for the head of the nation's Border Patrol.   We'll tell you who's dissatisfied with his performance.   And believe me, it's not just me...   And an historic revolt by Border Patrol agents and their leadership against their own chief as the Bush administration pushes its open borders amnesty agenda at all costs...   The Coast Guard today unloading 20 tons of cocaine seized off Panama.   The drugs carried off the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman, turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for destruction.   The Coast Guard saying it is the largest bust ever made at sea.   Street value estimated at $600M.   Those drugs seized in mid-March.   No amnesty for illegal aliens is the cry now being heard at rallies in the nation's capital this week.   Those rallies organized by radio talk show hosts are protesting Washington's pro-amnesty, open borders agenda.   At the events, the crowd demanding action to keep our nation's borders secure and calling for English to be made the official language of this nation.   Among those expected to attend the continuing rallies, the wives of imprisoned former Border Patrol Agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos.   The former agents are serving lengthy prison sentences after the drug dealer was given immunity to testify against them.   And a lack of support for those two agents is just one of several reasons rank-and-file Border Patrol agents today declared they no longer have confidence in their leadership, in the head of the Border Patrol in particular.   In an outrageous decision made by an elected official, San Francisco's mayor says city employees will no longer help federal agents to enforce the nation's immigration laws.   Lisa Sylvester reports on the frustrations that led the Border Patrol agents to go public with their complaints against their chief David Aguilar.   Casey Wian reports on San Francisco, one of the nation's so-called sanctuary cities.   Now going a step further to protect illegal aliens and circumvent federal law...
Lisa Sylvester: Lou, many Border Patrol agents say they're being tasked with a job to protect the U.S. borders, but when they try to do their jobs, they are being punished.   There is a real perception higher ups do not have their back and that Chief David Aguilar is not on the same page as many of the rank-and- file agents.   Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar has the president's backing, touring the Mexican border with him this month, but many rank-and-file Border agents have written him off as a leader who merely rubber stamps the Bush administration's policies.   One area of disagreement, a proposal to give millions of illegal aliens legal status.   Many agents object to anything resembling amnesty.
T.J. Bonner of the National Border Patrol Council: We want leaders, not bobble-head dolls who nod their assent to whatever the administration tells them to do.   It's a sense of the rank and file, that if the president of the United States told the chief of the Border Patrol to declare that the earth was flat, he would do that.
Lisa Sylvester: The National Border Patrol Council, which represents 11,000 agents unanimously voted for a no confidence resolution, expressing their displeasure with Aguilar.   Morale has plummeted since Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were sent to prison after shooting a suspect trying to smuggle more than 700 pounds of marijuana into the United States.   At least 90 members of Congress support a pardon for the agents.
Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA): I think that giving Ramos and Compean basically murder sentences for these slight wounding of a drug dealer has a generally demoralizing effect on lots of would-be border patrolmen who say that could be me.
Lisa Sylvester: The Department of Homeland Security responded to the no confidence vote saying, "Secretary Chertoff has complete confidence in Chief Aguilar and believes very strongly that he's demonstrating important leadership and effectiveness at a critical time...   Under Chief Aguilar's tenure, we have ended catch and release at the border, and we are doubling the size of the Border Patrol."   This no confidence vote, this is the first of its kind.   The Border Patrol Council would like Border Chief David Aguilar ousted, but members recognize the vote is largely symbolic.   In fact, T.J. Bonner said knowing the administration, what they'll probably see is a promotion for Mr. Aguilar -- Lou...
Lou Dobbs: Up next, we've offered all the presidential candidates two minutes of uninterrupted air time to specifically discuss critical issues facing America.   Congressman Ron Paul is the first to accept our invitation.   Two minutes uninterrupted on each substantive issue.   We begin tonight with free trade.   He joins us here next.   Stay with us.   I strongly believe that most of us want to hear what presidential candidates have to say on the issues and their specific position.   And what we're doing is offering a special series on this broadcast.   We call it "2008: Time For Answers".   And we're giving all the presidential candidates two minutes of uninterrupted air-time to address each critical issue facing this country.   Republican Congressman Ron Paul, of Texas, joins us tonight.   He is the first candidate to accept my offer.   And Congressman Ron Paul joins us tonight from Capitol Hill.   We're delighted to have you here.
Representative Ron Paul: Thank you.   It's good to be with you.
Lou Dobbs: Fire at will.   The subject is so-called free trade.
Representative Ron Paul: Free trade.   I'm for free trade.   Although I'm not for the type of system that we have today because I don't believe it's my concept of free trade.   I do not believe that the Congress should ever have the authority to pass this authority to the president.   And on things like on fast track and then president devises agreements that serve the interests of the special interests.   So, I positively opposed to this transfer of power just as I am opposed to the Congress transferring power to the president to declare war.   So you can be for trade.   I follow the admonition of the Founders.   They think we're a lot better off if we trade with countries, rather than fight with them.   We fought with VietNam through the 1960s.   It did go well.   We left.   Now we trade with them.   I think we do better trading.   Where our problem gets into are these managed trade agreements under the WTO and under NAFTA and the plan for a North American Union.   These are the kind of movements I think are very detrimental to national sovereignty.   I don't think it helps our workers.   And in combination with our monetary policy we are now exporting our jobs due to a flawed trade policy and actually a flawed foreign policy because we have allowed too much power to gravitate to the executive branch, and the Congress won't live up to their responsibilities.   The Congress is supposed to be protecting us, protecting and guarding against our liberties.   At the same time, here we are once again in an undeclared war overseas, that's going on endlessly trying to enforce U.N. resolutions, which is very disruptive to our economy.   It causes huge deficits.   That is more disruptive to our trade policies, as well.   I do not believe we can solve all our trade problems unless we eventually look at monetary policy.   Because when we have the privilege of printing the reserve currency of the world, we abuse this, we print the money and no wonder the jobs go overseas because they take our dollars.   That is coming to an end because this war and our financial obligations has nearly bankrupt this country.   I think we're in for big trouble.
Lou Dobbs: Congressman, you did it.   I mean that's two minutes uninterrupted.   We appreciate it.   Let me ask you a couple of follow-up questions if I may.
Representative Ron Paul: OK.
Lou Dobbs: First, let me ask you the question that is often asked of someone taking the position you have on free trade.   I want to remind everybody who may be surprised as you speak about free trade you are a candidate for the Republican nomination.   Are you a protectionist?
Representative Ron Paul: No, not really.   Only when it becomes national security reasons.   But no, I think the more trade that we have, the better.   I just don't like privileged trades.   I don't like international managed trade.   I don't like this NAFTA and WTO managed trade because I don't think the people are served.   I think the special interests are served because they have the influence in these organizations.
Lou Dobbs: Would you either rewrite or rescind NAFTA?
Representative Ron Paul: I'd get rid of NAFTA and WTO, for that matter.   I certainly don't want a North American Union and I'm sick of these plans for this highway coming through here that's going to go from Mexico to Canada.   That's not my idea of national sovereignty. DOBBS: The idea that the United States, as Bill Tucker reported tonight, H1B visas being used under the rubric of bringing in bright foreign workers into this country, in point of fact, as our research has demonstrated, more than half of those for low-skilled jobs.   What would be your position there?
Representative Ron Paul: That I would not have as much concern about.   But I think it needs monitoring.   My big concern are the illegals, I'm concerned about all the enticements we give for the illegals, automatic citizenship by being born here.   And then just be here for a while and you get in front of the line.   Free medical care, free education.   No wonder they bring their families.   So I would get rid of all the benefits to the illegals and deal with that and the legal entry, then it needs more monitoring, and looking into these H-1B and different categories that we have.
Lou Dobb: Congressman Ron Paul, we will leave a discussion of illegal immigration to another time for greater examination.   We thank for being here tonight.
Representative Ron Paul: Thank you.
Lou Dobbs: Congressman Ron Paul.   Well, as the presidential campaign continues, we'll continue this special series on our broadcast.   2008, definitely it is time for answers.   Giving all the presidential candidates who want to take us up on our offer two minutes of uninterrupted air-time to address each critical issue facing this country.
Windoze video

USCIS update on count of available H-1B visas for FY2008
"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today an updated number of filings for H-1B petitions filed on behalf of aliens with U.S.-earned Masters or higher degrees.   As of 2007 April 18, USCIS had received approximately 18K H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees. Congress mandated that the first 20K of these types of petitions are exempt from any fiscal year cap on available H-1B visas [i.e. they add 20K to the annual cap]."

Jerry Seper _Washington Times_
Border Patrollers unanimous in lack of confidence for their chief, David V. Aguilar
World Peace Herald
"The leaders of the U.S. Border Patrol's rank-and-file agents have unanimously voted a no-confidence resolution against Chief David V. Aguilar, citing, among other things, his willingness to believe the 'perjured allegations' of criminal aliens over his own agents.   The resolution won endorsement from all 100 top leaders of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), which represents all 11K of the U.S. Border Patrol's non-supervisory field agents, and targeted Chief Aguilar's lack of support for field agents, several of whom have been prosecuted on civil rights grounds involving arrests of illegal aliens and drug-smuggling suspects...   The unanimous no-confidence vote was cast during a recent meeting of the NBPC leadership in Corpus Christi, Texas.   Of the top 100 leaders, including the nine-member NBPC board and its constituent locals, the vast majority are active senior Border Patrol agents, including Mr. Bonner, a 29-year agency veteran.   'This vote of no confidence has nothing to do with the normal tensions between labor and management; those have existed for decades and have involved a number of other Border Patrol chiefs.', Mr. Bonner said. 'Despite those occasional differences of opinion, the front-line agents respected those leaders. Sadly, that is no longer the case.'... The resolution outlined a growing 'disconnect' between Chief Aguilar and the agency's front-line agents, who have been asked by President Bush to play an increasingly larger role in defending the country from terrorists, illegal aliens and drug smugglers. It cited a 'growing frustration' among the field agents over the 'misguided policies and politics' of the agency and the refusal of its top managers to speak out against them. It accused the chief of 'shamelessly promoting amnesty [for illegal aliens] and a greatly expanded guest-worker program as key elements of the solution to the illegal immigration crisis' despite intense opposition from front-line agents 'who risk their lives enforcing our nation's immigration laws'. 'Instead of maintaining their traditional neutral advisory role, these high-level managers have become advocates for the administration's ill-conceived political agenda that includes amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.', Mr. Bonner said. The resolution was critical of efforts to 'cut corners in the hiring and training processes' to meet a recruiting goal of 6K new agents by the end of Mr. Bush's term and an order prohibiting agents from enforcing immigration laws in 'interior' towns and cities, including many a short distance from the border."

Alden Link, Libertarian for President in 2008

  "[Slavery was] the curse of heaven on the states where it prevailed... the misery & poverty which overspread the barren wastes [of the south]...   [It is a crime against] the most sacred laws of humanity." --- Gouverneur Morris 1787-08-08 (reprinted in Max Farrand _Records of the Federal Convention of 1787_ vol 2 pp 219-223; quoted in Jack N. Rakove 1996 _Original Meanings_ pg 86)  



Rachel Konrad _USA Today_
Tech executive association AeA says number of US tech jobs has risen despite off-shoring
"According to the 2007 'Cyberstates' report, to be published Tuesday, the U.S. tech industry employed 5.8M people last year -- up 2.6% from 2005.   Despite fears [from jobs having gone] over-seas, the industry gained nearly 147K positions in 2006, compared with 87,400 jobs added in 2005...   software, which employed more than 1.5M people and created 88,500 new jobs last year.   The average technology worker nationwide earns $75,500.   That's short of the $78,691 average income in 2000, the peak of the dot-com boom.   But it's 86% more than the average private sector wage of $40,500.   The federal data that AeA uses define tech workers broadly, including engineers, computer programmers, technology executives, many scientists and academics.   Also counted are administrative assistants, salespeople, human resources employees and other non-technical people who happen to work at tech companies, from Google to obscure start-ups.   However, researchers do not count contract workers, including janitors and landscapers who work for independent agencies hired by bigger technology companies."

2007-04-24 08:40PDT (11:40EDT) (15:40GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Conference Board's consumer confidence index dropped to lowest level since last summer
"The consumer confidence index fell to a reading of 104.0 from a revised 108.2 in March...   The present situation index fell to 131.3 from 138.5 in March.   This was the first decline in six months...   The expectations index slipped to 85.8 from 87.9.   This is also the lowest level since August...   Those saying jobs are 'hard to get' rose to 20.4% in April from 18.9% in the previous month.   Those saying jobs are 'plentiful' fell to 27.8% from 30.3%...   Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, noted that only 2.7% of consumers said they plan to buy a home in the next 6 months.   This is the lowest level in 10 years...   National Association of Realtors. The trade group said existing home sales fell 8.4% in March, the biggest drop since 1989 January."

Paul R. LaMonica _CNN_/_Money_
Media lay-offs nearly doubled in 1st quarter
"According to a report released by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas Tuesday, media companies announced 4,391 lay-offs during the first quarter of this year, up 93% from the 2,271 lay-offs in the first 3 months of last year.   The New York Times and Dow Jones also announced lay-offs in the first quarter...   Of this year's lay-offs, Challenger said 12% of the job cuts came from newspaper publishers.   The magazine business is also in turmoil, with 6% of the media sector's job cuts taking place in publishing...   12% of the media lay-offs were from television.   The film and video segment was another big source of lay-offs, with 28% of the media job cuts coming from that part of the business...   Still, one has to wonder if media firms aren't going too far. After all, the sector reported an 88% increase in lay-offs in 2006, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas."

_RxPG News_
36 Indians, caught arriving at Dubai airport with fraudulent visas, were deported
"The incident comes barely days after Bharatiya Janata Party MP Babubhai Katara was caught trying to smuggle out a woman and teenager to Toronto on the diplomatic passports of his family."

2007-04-24 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs & Christine Romans & Bill Tucker & Lisa Sylvester & Casey Wian _CNN_
student loans, H-1B guest-workers, poisoned food from Red China, lobbying to stop illegal alien invasion, and trial of Red Chinese spy
Lou Dobbs: The rapidly rising cost of a college education in this country creating an almost unmanageable burden for many of our middle class, and emerging details of corruption and cronyism in the student loan industry.   All yet another blow to the millions of students and their families struggling to pay their way.   Christine Romans has our report.
Christine Romans: Two-thirds of these students will graduate with debt, median debt now $19,300.
Stephen Burd, senior research fellow at the New America Foundation: There are significant numbers of students who are taking out $30K, $40K, $50K in loans.   Some of these loans are federal loans, but increasingly students are relying on private loans, which come with higher interest rates.
Christine Romans: Tuition prices have soared 35% over the past 5 years, making volatile, expensive private loans a necessity.   A federal loan interest rate is capped at 6.8%.   But a private loan can hit 18% to 20%, loans which didn't even exist a generation ago.   Today the private loan explosion is a feeding frenzy.   Congressman George Miller says student loan companies are making shady deals with universities to become preferred lenders at students' expense.
representative George Miller (D-CA): We now see them paying gratuities, meals, vacation trips, hotel stays, conference, putting people on the board of directors, selling stock inside.   I mean, you have a system that' has run amuck, run amuck.   And what it has really done is it's raised the cost of student loans to the students and to their families.
Christine Romans: Sallie Mae, Citibank, Education Finance Partners, University of Pennsylvania, and NYU among those settling New York State's allegations of conflicts of interest.   And the Department of Education is scrambling to explain stock deals and cozy relationships between some of its officials and private lenders.   The Education Department has a lucrative database of student financial records.   Amid the controversy, it has temporarily blocked private lenders from that information.   Now, just days after lender Sallie Mae agreed to that $2M settlement with New York State, news it's going private in a $25G deal among the companies investing to take it private -- Bank of America and JP Morgan.   They have their own student loan operations, essentially consolidating some of the biggest, wealthiest players, altogether...
Lou Dobbs: I think we have to give some considerable credit to Attorney General Cuomo who led the fight in NY...   Congress today appears determined to dramatically increase the scope of existing guest worker programs.   Congress now wants to expand the rights of foreign students and greatly increase the number of green card workers in this country.   It is, by the way, you will be pleased to note, a bipartisan effort.   And as Bill Tucker reports, it is completely unnecessary.
Bill Tucker: Senator John Cornyn won't give up on the SKIL bill, more officially known as the Securing Knowledge, Innovation and Leadership Act of 2007.   Cornyn wants it to be attached as an amendment to another bill which is intended to encourage American students to go into math, science and engineering fields.   The irony is inescapable, because the SKIL Act would increase the H-1B visa program by 77%, with automatic 20% increases every year thereafter that the cap is hit.   It would also more than triple the size of the employment-based green card program to 450K, exempting all immediate family members from the cap.   And it would vastly expand the foreign student visa program now as the F-4 visa, allowing foreign students to work while studying in the United States, giving them two years to find a job after graduation, and put them on an automatic fast track for a green card.
Jack Martin of the Federation for American Immigration Reform: The only thing that is backing these proposed increases in both employer-sponsored legal immigration and temporary workers is claims by business that they need access to these additional workers.
Bill Tucker: And while corporate America pushes its cheap labor agenda, there is growing concern over what appears to be Congress's priorities.
Gary May of Georgia Institute of Technology: It's puzzling to me there's not the same level of anxiety about importing foreign talent that there is about importing foreign oil, for example.   I'm not a protectionist by any stretch, but I do believe that there are resources here in the U.S.A., human resources, that can fill these jobs if there is a shortage.
Bill Tucker: Corporate America doesn't need to worry, though.   Because ultimately, whether Cornyn's attempt to attach the SKIL bill succeeds or not is immaterial.   The Flake-Gutierrez legislation know as the STRIVE Act already incorporates much of the SKIL Act numbers, and there are several bills in both the House and the Senate to [expand] the H-1B visa program, Lou.   The theme of all of those bills, prioritizing foreign workers over Americans.
Lou Dobbs: It is absolutely incredible.   We should put a couple facts before our audience here this evening.   I know that Washington is averse to facts.   The amnesty, the corporate lobby, the open borders lobbies, all averse to the facts, but here are the facts.   56%, as you reported last night, of H-1B visas are granted to employees, foreign workers who are low-skilled workers.   56% of them.   70% of those H-1B visas are sought by Indian companies seeking to out-source work in the United States to [their employees in India].   And in many of those cases, if not all, they make $12K less than the prevailing wage that is of American workers.   Just to put a few facts forward.   I know that will be very uncomfortable to Congressman Flake, Congressman Gutierrez, and of course Senator Cornyn, and others, and particularly my good friend, Bill Gates, who seeks unlimited H-1B visas for the United States.   Bill, thank you very much.   That is just enough to make you want to chew nails.   Bill Tucker, thank you.   For the first time ever, Toyota selling more vehicles in a quarter than General Motors.   That's right, Toyota is now the number one seller of cars in the world.   Toyota sold more than 2.3M vehicles worldwide in the first quarter of this year.   General mothers sold 2.25M.   In annual sales, General Motors, however, remains number one, but Toyota is catching up and catching up quickly.   [Escherichia coli can't just be washed off of fresh veggies.]
Kitty Pilgrim: There have been 5K serious food out-breaks in a recent 15-year period, but the FDA still doesn't have the authority to recall food products...   The FDA has seen its budget and staff slashed.   The number of inspectors cut by 15% to 2,700 over the last 4 years.   Consumer groups say they FDA inspects plants on average only once every 5 to 10 years, and the agency itself admits it can only inspect 1% of imported food...   Today, 12 different federal agencies inspect food, operating under 35 different statutes.   And the rules often conflict...   Thousands of hogs in 6 states may potentially have been tainted with the chemical melamine.   And that is the same toxin of the contaminated pet food in recent weeks, but the FDA says it has no intention of banning the wheat gluten imports from [Red China]...   It's a national security issue at a certainly point...   A second company is now believed to have imported that tainted rice protein from [Red China].   The company has not been identified.   Yesterday, Royal Canin company recalled some of its dry pet food because it contains tainted rice protein laced with melamine...   And radio hosts from all across the country in Washington demanding no amnesty for 20M illegal aliens in this country.   We'll have that report and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons wants a ban on some racist and sexist epithets in rap music, but it should be very selective and he doesn't want to encumber the artist, and it's really kind of confusing, but at least he acknowledges there's a problem.   We'll have the report and more.   Stay with us as we come right back...
Lisa Sylvester: We're actually here with KFI-AM radio out of Los Angeles.   They just started their broadcast a few minutes ago right at 6:30.   Now the Federation for American Immigration Reform and San Diego radio host Roger Hedgecock are really the forces behind this 3-day event...   It's called "Hold Their Feet to the Fire", an electronic town hall gathering.   For three days 37 talk radio hosts are huddling in a Washington, DC hotel, broadcasting.   Their goal is to let law-makers feel the heat of radio listeners who oppose an amnesty bill...   The radio hosts interviewed lawmakers and prominent figures in the immigration debate, but not all doors of Congress, the people's house, had a welcome mat...   Outside the Capitol offices, a news conference that included the wives of imprisoned Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean...   The radio hosts and their listeners will leave Washington, but their message will continue to resonate...   tonight there is a reception, it's called defend those who defend us.   It is a fund-raiser for Ramos and Compean.   Tomorrow they will be back here again at 5:00 a.m. for the final day...
Lou Dobbs: The trial of accused spy Chi Mak resumed today after a recess of more than a week.   Jurors were shown classified documents, the naturalized American citizen accused of transferring some of this country's most sensitive military and technology secrets to communist China.   Casey Wian reports.
Casey Wian: The Navy's top submarine acquisition officer took the stand in the spy trial of former Power Paragon engineer Chi Mak.   Rear Admiral William ? testified that improving submarine stealth technology is a critical mission for the Navy.   Naturalized U.S. citizen Mak is accused of, among other things, passing some of that sensitive technology to his communist Chinese homeland.
James Lilley, former US ambassador to Red China: You know perfectly well that they're after advanced submarine technology.   They're putting a great deal of emphasis on their submarine fleets.   These Thilo (ph) class, their Onsung (ph) class.   They're developing this, and they've got to get underwater propulsion that's quiet, that can defeat our anti-submarine warfare system.
Casey Wian: Jurors were also shown classified documents after federal judge Cormack Carney (ph) admonished them not to share the contents with anyone.   Prosecutors alleged the documents which were seized from the luggage of Mak's brother before he was about to catch a flight to [Red China] contained restricted information about a Navy program to power stealth submarines and warships.   Mak's defense attorneys countered by showing similar information in non-classified documents.   Admiral ? testified it's an ongoing concern for the Navy, because it's impossible to classify every piece of information about a submarine that takes tens of millions of man hours to build.
Dennis McDonough of the Center for American Progress: Where do you draw the line on what's sensitive technology, what's cutting edge technology and what isn't?   As we all know, this area is changing rapidly every day, and so it's hard to draw the line on any given day.
Casey Wian: Even if jurors believe the argument the submarine technology was non-classified, there's still the issue of two Chinese language tasking lists found in Mak's home.   An Office of Naval Research official testified well over 900 documents were found in Mak's home.   Dozens matched items on the tasking list including documents on the strategic defense initiative, torpedoes, an electromagnetic landing platform for aircraft carriers and a futuristic artillery system called a rail gun.   The Chi Mak case is now entering its fourth week, and testimony has become very technical and complicated...

Ruth Ellen Wasem _Congressional Research Service_
Immigration of Foreign Workers: Labor Market Tests and Protections (pdf)
"The number of employment-based legal permanent residents (LPRs) has grown from under 100K in FY1994 to over 250K in FY2005.   The number of visas for employment-based temporary non-immigrants rose from just under 600K in FY1994 to approximately 1.2M in FY2005.   In particular, 'H' visas for temporary workers tripled from 98,030 in FY1994 to 321,336 in FY2005...   In 1885, Congress passed the contract labor law of 1885, known as the Foran Act, which made it unlawful to import aliens for the performance of labor or service of any kind in the United States.   That bar on employment-based immigration lasted until 1952, when Congress enacted the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a sweeping law also known as the McCarran-Walters Act (PL82-414) that brought together many disparate immigration and citizenship statutes and made significant revisions in the existing laws.   The 1952 Act authorized visas for aliens who would perform needed services because of their high educational attainment, technical training, specialized experience, or exceptional ability.   Prior to the admission of these employment-based immigrants, however, the 1952 Act required the Secretary of Labor to certify to the Attorney General and the Secretary of State that there were not sufficient U.S. workers 'able, willing, and qualified' to perform this work and that the employment of such aliens would not 'adversely affect the wages and working conditions' of similarly employed U.S. workers.   This provision in the 1952 Act established the policy of labor certification.   The major reform of INA in 1965 included language that obligated the employers to file labor certification applications (LCAs)...   In 1990, Congress had amended the INA to raise the level of employment-based immigration from 54K LPR visas to more than 143K LPR visas annually.   That law also expanded 2 preference categories into 5 preference categories and reduced the cap on unskilled workers from 27K to 10K annually...   Currently, there are 24 major non-immigrant (i.e., aliens who the United States admits on a temporary basis) visa categories, and 72 specific types of nonimmigrant visas issued.   These visa categories are commonly referred to by the letter and numeral that denote their subsection in the INA.   Several visa categories are designated for employment-based temporary admission...   The current H-1 categories include professional specialty workers (H-1B) and nurses (H-1C).   There are 2 visa categories for temporarily importing seasonal workers, that is, guest workers: agricultural guest workers enter with H-2A visas and other seasonal/ intermittent workers enter with H-2B visas...   DoL has long held the position that if a job opportunity is not open to U.S. workers, labor certification will be denied."

2007-04-24 (5767 Iyar 06)
Frank J. Gaffney _Jewish World Review_
Terror's lobbyist
"National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC). Its president is William Reinsch and the effect of its lobbying at the moment would be to keep American [tax-victims] and pension fund beneficiaries underwriting our enemies through their institutional and personal investments.   Reinsch had a checkered career prior to assuming his current role as Terror's Lobbyist.   For example, during the Clinton Administration, he used his senior position in the Commerce Department to facilitate and excuse [Red China's] acquisition of an array of sensitive and even dual-use technologies, despite restrictions on such transfers.   Now, the former Commerce Under Secretary heads a trade council that favors doing business with America's enemies and runs interference for those determined to do so.   In his present role, Reinsch is working to counter citizens and their elected representatives who believe such business dealings are strategically ill-advised and morally repugnant."

  "If you have standards, moral standards, you have to want to make them prevail, & at the very least you have to argue in their favor." --- Irving Kristol 1983 January _Reason_ (reprinted 1998 December "Voices of Reason: 30 Years of Interviews" _Reason_ pg 30)  



Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
the current tech job market
"two articles reporting claims made by industry lobbyists that the tech job market is booming, with the implication that there is a tech labor shortage, and the further implication that the H-1B visa cap needs to be raised.   Both cite a study by the AeA, one of the leading industry lobbying groups.   The study makes the usual errors in discussing the number of jobs in relation to the H-1B issue, and especially in relation to its impact on American programmers and engineers.
* The study doesn't break the number of jobs down according to the the relevant categories.   Note carefully that the numbers of jobs quoted were counts of positions in Software INDUSTRY SECTOR, not software development jobs.   That industry sector has tons of jobs which do not involve software development, such as writers of software documentation, people who manage the releases of new versions of software, people who market or sell software [secretaries, clerks], etc., etc.   These are non-technical jobs that H-1Bs are not hired for, and thus shouldn't be counted in a study that argues that job growth numbers imply that we need more H-1Bs.   The jobs that count are software developers and system/data adminstrators.   These are the ones taken by computer-related H-1Bs, and these are the ones computer science graduates are trained for, rather than for, say, software marketing.
* The study doesn't state how many jobs are taken by H-1Bs, as well as by L-1 visa holders and so on [vs. US citizens].   Currently a big chunk of software development jobs are taken by H-1Bs and the other visa holders.
Let's look at that second point more closely.   Keep in mind that the H-1B cap limits the number of NEW visas issued each year.   Since the visa is good for 6 years [more with extensions], one can get rough idea of the number of H-1Bs in the nation at any given time by multiplying the cap by 6.   The cap has been at 65K per year since late 2003, and between 2000 and 2003 the cap was 195K per year [not counting the 20K per year that were added in 2004 November or the 10,500 E-3 visas that were apparently created in 2005 for those from Australia, with terms and conditions similar to those for H-1B visas].   So, we are talking about something like, say, 600K H-1B visa holders being in the U.S. right now, with about 300K of them in the computer field.   So you can see that any discussion of job growth is meaningless unless one discusses how many of those jobs are going to H-1Bs, L-1s etc.   Now, the AeA says that the number of jobs in the Software sector in California grew by 11K from 2005 to 2006.   As I said, the number of 'real' software jobs would be considerably less than that, though one also has to keep in mind that other sectors also hire in these types of jobs.   Yet there were 52K new H-1Bs hired in the computer field in fiscal 2005, and generally half of these go to California.   I haven't even added in the L-1s, but you can see that the numbers suggest that most new software jobs are going to H-1Bs!
Not only are they being hired into the new jobs, but also when existing jobs held by Americans become vacant, H-1Bs are often being hired in their place.   Remember, even the highly pro-H-1B Federal Reserve Bank said that in the late 1990s half of the new software jobs were filled by H-1Bs.   The Fed's calculation was also indirect, similar to mine above, but it is very clear that the percentage is far higher than that today.

Predictably, the AeA study cites low unemployment figures for programmers and engineers.   These are meaningless, because the programmers and engineers who can't find jobs in the field are forced to go into other occupations.   They then count as EMPLOYED in those other occupations.   As Gene Nelson once put it so succinctly, the former programmer who is now working as a security guard is counted in government data as an employed security guard, not an unemployed programmer.   (For a more formal statement of this see Carol Veneri, 'Can Occupational Labor Shortages Be Identified Using Available Data?' _Monthly Labor Review_ 1999 March, pg 15.)
Sadly but predictably, the AeA uses Vivek Wadhwa's study on immigration entrepreneurship to argue that the H-1B cap should be raised.   Actually, Vivek has stated that he is OPPOSED to raising the cap.   He recognizes that it is widely abused, and he has advocated abolishing the cap.   Moreover, Vivek, a former tech [body shop] CEO, now an adjunct professor at Duke University, has stated that WE DO NOT HAVE A SHORTAGE OF ENGINEERS. (See my commentary.)   Moreover, the conclusion made by the AeA about immigration entrepreneurship is fallacious: '...[the AeA] concludes that if the U.S. had no cap on H-1B visas more, not fewer, jobs would be created.'   Actually, Vivek's study found that entrepreneurship rates in the tech industry were the same for natives and immigrants.   So, if we had no H-1Bs at all, with Americans in those jobs instead of H-1Bs, we'd still have about the same number of businesses founded.
The industry lobbyists follow the press and academic world on these issues like a hawk.   They know full well that Vivek has stated that there is no engineering shortage.   But this is the way those industry PR people operate.   They're the best in the business, and they're not about to tell you the facts that contradict their claims.
You readers may find the following example of interest.   In 1997 I was a participant in a high-tech work-force conference at Stanford, consisting of about two dozen people.   Also present were two representatives from the ITAA industry lobbying firm, and someone from the Computing Research Association [CRA], a consortium of university computer science departments.   At the conference, the ITAA distributed a draft of its study claiming that there was a severe software labor shortage.   This study later became pivotal in Congress' decision to enact the first H-1B expansion, in late 1998.   Among other things, the ITAA study became the basis for the Dept. of Commerce study in early 1998.   So the ITAA's asking for comments on the draft at the conference was very important.   Well, the CRA representative pointed out that the ITAA's data were out of date.   The ITAA claimed that computer science enrollment at universities was dropping, and the CRA pointed out that in fact the enrollment had risen sharply in each of the last 2 years.   Yet the ITAA never incorporated that [incorrect] information into their final report, and, on the contrary, continued to tell the press that enrollment was dropping.   They don't pay these PR people the big bucks for nothing.
Matloff's comments on Duke university report on entrepreneurship
Ephraim Schwartz _InfoWorld_/_IDG_ UC Davis professor refutes claims of IT job growth

_Forbes, _Peninsula On-Line, Qatar_, _Middle East Times, Egypt_
Yahoo! to expand off-shoring to India
ABC Money UK
"Yahoo, which has 1K people working in India, will commit more resources to the Bangalore-based unit and hire more people as part of its local expansion, said [David Filo], who refused to be more specific, citing company policy.   The Sunnyvale, California-based company will open in Bangalore tomorrow a new five-storey, 220K-square-feet research and development facility that can seat 1,600 people...   He added that about 20% of Yahoo!'s engineering work-force is based in India."

2007-04-25 11:42PDT (14:42EDT) (18:24GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Federal Reserve Board's Beige Book shows no sign of economic recovery as Clinton-Bush depression continues

2007-04-25 12:05PDT (15:05EDT) (19:05GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Durable good orders up 3.4%
"Demand for core capital equipment increased a robust 4.7% after a cumulative 8.5% decline in January and February.   It was the biggest gain in this key gauge of business investment since 2004 September.   Still, the first quarter was the weakest for core capital equipment orders since the 2001 recession, falling at a 15.3% annual rate."

Steven A. Camarota _Center for Immigration Studies_
An Examination of Out-of-Wedlock Births Among Immigrants and Natives

Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Are 60K missing foreign students a security risk?
"In 2006 the State Department issued 281,097 student visas, about 37K more than in the prior year. [State Department, 'Nonimmigrant Visas Issued by Classification, Fiscal Years 2002-2006', Table XVI(B).]   This was the largest student visa increase in over 15 years.   Altogether, there are some 572,509 so-called 'international' students in the U.S.A. -- 3.4% of the total.   That's up from 2.6% of the total in the early 1980s...   Even when money does not change hands, the temptation to look the other way when vetting foreign students is enormous.   Consider the incentives facing large research universities.   They need workers to staff their science labs and TAs to assign to large under-graduate classes. Foreign students provide a nearly limitless supply of low wage workers.   And if more qualified Americans are displaced... so what?   Worst of all: The latest SEVIS report [Student and Exchange Visitor Information System Quarterly Report, General Summary for the quarter ending 2006 December 30] shows 630,998 active students are in its tracking system.   Yet only some 572K foreign students are enrolled in U.S. institutions of higher education, according to statistics published by the Department of Education.   Interestingly, South Korea is the country with the largest number of active students in SEVIS: 93,728.   By contrast, DoE statistics show only 52K Koreans are enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities."

2007-04-25 (5767 Iyar 07)
Daniel Pipes _Jewish World Review_
A Madrasa Grows in Brooklyn

  "We each have plenty of 'theys' in our lives, expressing what they believe we should do or want, telling us what they think is best for us...   they remind us of the prevailing ways of getting along, ways they see as successful.   But we have to decide, I have to decide, you have to decide; they can't decide for us unless we let them." --- Geoffrey M. Bellman 1992 _Getting Things Done When You Are Not In Charge_ pg 39  



2007-04-25 17:06PDT (2007-04-25 20:06EDT) (2007-04-26 00:06GMT)
Jia-Rui Chong & Thomas H. Maugh _Los Angeles Times_
Bee colony collapse possibly linked to fungus
"Other researchers said Wednesday that they too had found the fungus, a single-celled parasite called Nosema ceranae, in affected hives from around the country -- as well as in some hives that have continued to survive and live.   Those researchers also have found 2 other fungi and a half-dozen viruses in the dead bees.   'N. ceranae' is 'one of many pathogens' in the bees, said entomologist Diana Cox-Foster of Pennsylvania State University. &nbnsp; 'By itself, it is probably not the culprit... but it may be one of the key players.'...   [Joe DeRisi] and UCSF's Don Ganem, who normally look for the causes of human diseases, were brought into the bee search by virologist Evan W. Skowronski of the U.S. Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Aberdeen, MD.   Dr. Charles Wick of the center had used a new system of genetic analysis to identify pathogens in ground-up bee samples from California.   He found several viruses, including members of a recently identified family called iflaviruses.   It is not known if these small, RNA-containing viruses, which infect the Varroa mite, are pathogenic to bees.   Skowronski forwarded the samples to DeRisi, who also found evidence of the viruses, along with genetic material from Nosema.   'There was a lot of stuff from Nosema, about 25% of the total.', Skowronski said.   'That meant there was more than there was bee RNA.   That leads me to believe that the bee died from that particular pathogen.'   If Nosema does play a role in Colony Collapse Disorder, there may be some hope for beekeepers.   A closely related parasite called Nosema apis, which also affects bees, can be controlled by the antibiotic fumagillin, and there is some evidence that it will work on N. ceranae as well."

2007-04-26 05:30PST (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 300,511 in the week ending April 21, a decrease of 17,072 from the previous week.   There were 291,349 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending April 14, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,641,046, an increase of 46,389 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,482,997.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending April 7."

Donna Leinwand _USA Today_
Federal agents crack fake document business
"Federal agents charged 22 people with operating a massive fake document business in Chicago that they say provided thousands of illegal aliens with fake immigration papers, drivers licenses and other documents.   An indictment unsealed Wednesday says the Chicago branch of a Mexican crime family produced more than 15K bogus identification documents each year since 2003.   U.S. representative Luis Gutierrez, D-IL, who represents the community where the raid took place, called [the arrests] 'an outrage and completely excessive'...   Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials say the indictment and arrests are part of a widespread effort to shut down burgeoning fake-document mills that are using increasingly sophisticated methods to outwit authorities.   Last year, ICE created 11 task forces aimed at investigating document fraud.   ICE on Thursday will add task forces in Baltimore, Chicago, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco and Tampa, said Julie Myers, ICE assistant secretary...   Agents in Chicago arrested 12 people named in the indictment on Tuesday, but are still searching for 10 others.   Four of the people are thought to be in Mexico, Fitzgerald said.   Federal agents also searched a basement apartment, a photo shop in a local mall, and two homes.   The agents seized computers, scanners, printers and hundreds of blank identification cards, the Justice Department said.   The document dealers employed illegal immigrants to sell fake driver's licenses, green cards and Social Security numbers in the parking lot of a mall in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood, court papers say.   The sellers, as many as 20 at a time, worked in shifts, selling documents from 09:00 to 20:00 for $200 to $300 for a set.   The operation sold 50 to 100 document sets per day, the indictment says.   Prosecutors say the business netted between $2M and $3M a year and had been in operation at least four years.   Nuevo Foto Munoz, the photo shop searched by federal agents, is owned by Elias Munoz, the father of local Chicago Alderman Ricardo Munoz.   Agents served a search warrant and seized some cameras and records, but did not detain, arrest or charge his father, Ricardo Munoz said...   The indictment also charges members of the group with smuggling people into the USA.   Prosecutors say the Chicago cell run by Julio Leija-Sanchez, 31, of Oak Lawn, IL, is tied to a Mexican crime family that operates fake document businesses in Denver and Los Angeles.   Leija, arrested Tuesday by federal agents, is charged with conspiring to commit murder outside the USA.   Leija paid $3K to Gerardo Salazar-Rodriguez to kill competitors known as 'Montes' and 'Bruno', the indictment says.   Salazar, who is also charged in the indictment but has not been arrested, allegedly killed 'Montes', a taxi driver, by shooting him 15 times, the court papers say.   Montes was tied to a group of former cell members who attempted to leave the group and open a competing business in Indiana, the indictment says."

Nick Corcodilos _InfoWorld_/_IDG_
To recruit, hang out in the right places
"In The Web 2.0 Talent Hunt [Margaret Steen] explores an old-fashioned recruiting technique: Going out and looking for the people you want to hire.   Yah, who has time to find and hang out with people who are worth recruiting and hiring?   Uh, I dunno... Head-Hunters who charge $50K for the service to managers too lazy to do it themselves?   Right after I read Steen's article at breakfast this morning, I turned to a letter to the editor from Dave Sroelov in the April 23 InformationWeek.   (Sorry, it's not on-line.)   Sroelov says there's no need for the H-1B visa program, and that the high-tech 'labor shortage' is little more than a failure of managers to do their jobs: '...almost nobody knows how to attract and hire qualified people anymore...'"

_International Herald Tribune_/_AP_
Felony cases involving illegal aliens crowd courts in SW USA
"Judges in the 5, mostly rural judicial districts on the border carry the heaviest felony case-loads in the nation. Each judge in the state of New Mexico, which ranked first, handled an average of 397 felony cases last year, compared to the national average 84...   In Arizona, the busiest entry point for illegal immigration, state officials believe almost 4K people attempted to enter every day in 2006...   The Border Patrol now has [less than] 2,800 more agents than the 9,821 it had in September of 2001.   Another 6K National Guard troops have been providing logistical support to the Border Patrol since last May.   [Compare this with the 37K US troops in Korea and over 37K police in New York city.]"

Kirit Radi _abc_
US sting busts major human trafficking operations

_Nothern Colorado Business Report_
Swift & Company VP whines to congress

Linda Thom _V Dare_
Immigration policy is important murder, mayhem, and a new under-class

2007-04-26 (5767 Iyar 08)
Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
apartment finder's fees

2007-04-26 (5767 Iyar 08)
Jonathan Tobin _Jewish World Review_
Working with current allies with human rights abuses in their past
"After a series of military reverses, the so-called 'Young Turk' government in Istanbul ordered mass deportations of Armenians from parts of Anatolia.   From 1915-17, as many as 1M Armenians died as result of the attending hardships, as well as atrocities on the part of Turkish troops.   It was the first modern genocide, and the fact that the perpetrators were never held accountable is often cited as a reason why the Nazis thought they could get away with trying to exterminate the Jews...   The Turks would do better to acknowledge what happened and move on."

  "The various modes of worship which prevailed in the ancient world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosophers as equally false; & by the magistrates as equally useful." --- Gibbon (quoted in M. Harrington 1983 _The Politics of God's Funeral_; quoted in Brant Wenegrat 1990 _SocioBiological Psychiatry_ pg 27)  



Laura Litvan _Bloomberg_
Pelosi champions Silicon Valley executives against US tech workers
"Pelosi's own re-election war chest has benefited.   She raised $122K from the political-action committees of communications and technology companies in the 2005-2006 election cycle, compared with $55K in the 2003-2004 cycle, according to PoliticalMoneyLine.com, a Washington-based company that tracks donations.   The PAC of Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, the world's biggest software company, gave Pelosi $10K for 2006, up from $6K for the 2004 cycle.   The PAC of San Jose, California-based eBay Inc., the world's largest on-line auction company, gave $5K for her 2006 re-election bid, its first contribution since a $500 check in 2000."

John Sterlicchi _Guardian Unlimited_
Both legal and illegal immigrants and guest-workers have USA in an uproar

Cliff Peale _Cincinnati Enquirer_
Cincinnati region's unemployment rate fell
"But the 15-county metropolitan area's jobless rate continued to be higher than the nation's.   The region's rate for March was 4.8%, down from 5.2% in February.   By contrast, the national rate for March was 4.5%, down from 4.9% in February.   In 2006 March, the region's unemployment rate was 5.4%.   The jobless rate in Butler County decreased to 4.8% in March from 5.1% in February, while in the city of Hamilton it fell to 5.6% from 5.8%, according to state Department of Job and Family Services data released Tuesday.   The rate fell to 4.6% from 4.8% in Hamilton County, to 5.1% from 5.2% in Cincinnati and to 5% from 5.5% in Clermont County.   In Warren County, the jobless rate went to 4.3% from 4.6%.   Ohio's statewide rate fell to 5.5% from 5.7%.   Unemployment in the 8 counties of Northern Kentucky fell in March to 5% from 5.7% in February, with every county seeing a decline, the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training said Thursday.   The rate in Boone County dropped to 4.7% from 5.2%.   The Kenton County rate went to 5% from 5.4%, while in Campbell County the rate fell to 4.9% from 5.6%.   Statewide, unemployment fell to 5.8% in March from 6.6% in February.   Rates fell in 104 of 120 Kentucky counties."

2007-04-27 07:27PDT (10:27EDT) (14:27GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
GDP grew 1.3% in 2007Q1: GDP price index increased 4%
"Meanwhile, core consumer prices -- which exclude food- and energy-cost inputs -- increased at a more moderate 2.2% annual pace. In the past year, core prices are up 2.2%, the same year-over-year pace as seen in the fourth quarter, but above the Fed's 2.0% ceiling. Consumer prices including food and energy are also up 2.2% in the past year. In a separate report, the Labor Department said employment costs increased 0.8% in the first quarter, slightly less than the 0.9% expected. Over the past year, employment costs have increased 3.5%, the most in nearly two years."
BEA press releases
2007 Q1 GDP

2007-04-27 07:42PDT (10:42EDT) (14:42GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index partially recovers from 88.4 in March to 85.3 earlier in April to 87.1

Ephraim Schwartz _InfoWorld_/_IDG_
Experts offer proof that H-1B visas are used to hire cheaper labor
Low Salaries for Low Skills: Wages and Skill Levels for H-1B Computer Workers, 2005
PR Web
PR News Wire
"From JMS: '...Since my work allows me to have access to salary records, I can tell you that the labor cost savings for H-1Bers and green card applicants is substantially greater than the costs of filing the applications with the government.   Citizens should demand that both the H-1B and EB green card programs be abolished in their current form.'...   highlights from John Miano's latest salary study: 'In FY2005, H-1B employer prevailing wage claims averaged $16K below the median wage for U.S. computer workers in the same location and occupation.   90% of H-1B employer prevailing wage claims for programming occupations were below the median U.S. wage for the same occupation and location, with 62% of the wage claims in the bottom 25th percentile of U.S. wages.   While higher than the prevailing wage claims, the actual wages reported for H-1B workers were significantly less than those of their American counterparts.   Wages for H-1B workers averaged $12K below the median wage for U.S. workers in the same occupation and location.   The reported wages for 84% of H-1B workers were below the median U.S. wage; 51% were in the bottom 25th percentile of U.S. wages.   Many employers make prevailing wage claims using wage sources that are not valid under the law.   The Department of Labor routinely approves prevailing wage claims based on these invalid sources.'"

Suketu Mehta _Forbes_
Foreigners work their networks in the USA
"They go to their tribes, their villages in the city.   Whether it is an association of software engineers, an alumni association or a church group, immigrants live and die, work and marry, pray and play within the network.   The difference between today's immigrants and those of the last century is this: Now many are in continual transit between their home-lands and the U.S.A.   Each new New Yorker brings his own world to the city and goes back and forth between the two...   People come to the U.S.A. today, singly or in groups, and do not melt; they stay resolutely whole.   Their flavors might mingle with each other, but they do not lose their general contours as separate ethnic enclaves...   What is exile when a round trip home is $500?   As a result there isn't a great need to assimilate...   Many immigrant groups see no need to follow an imagined, idealized 'American way'.   Because of the strength and regular reinforcement of their ties to the old country, they can live here much as they did in the land left behind...   A friend of mine who went from Mumbai to London told me she was horrified that she could spend an entire day -- buy tickets on the tube, go to see a play, eat -- without ever needing to make a personal connection, to use the network.   How does an immigrant network spring up?   An Asian engineer may be admitted for his skills and given an employment-based work visa, such as an H-1B.   He works for several years, gets a green card and then brings his parents and sisters over.   Thus, a skills-based network becomes a family network, which is stronger and more lasting.   The concept of family can be very broad among immigrants: With Indians, it may include the entire caste group; with Latinos, an entire village.   My own caste group of several hundred Indians in the New York metropolitan area holds regular picnics and dances; cricket is played, marriages arranged, leads on housing and jobs exchanged over Gujarati food in state parks in New Jersey and Italian wedding palaces in Queens...   a street gang in Jackson Heights called the Punjabi Boys Network.   Its members come from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh -- countries that, at any given time, are at war with one or more of the others.   But in Queens their commonalities override their differences...   While the overall national unemployment rate now stands at 4.5%, in recent years between one-third and one-half of black male high school graduates have been unemployed.   Among black males who have dropped out of high school and who are most likely to compete with unskilled immigrants, the unemployment rate has ranged from 59% to 72%."

Phyllis Schlafly _Bend Weekly_
It is easy to see why US jobs move over-seas
Human Events
"a. They can hire workers at very low wages (such as 30 cents an hour in [Red China]).   b. The companies don't have to pay any employee benefits.   c. They don't have to comply with safety and environmental regulations.   d. They don't have to pay foreign taxes when they export their products back to us...   Corporations located in the United States pay big U.S. corporate income and property taxes.   It does a lot for their bottom line when they move to a foreign, tax-free utopia.   Foreign governments also tax corporations, but if the company exports its products to the United States, or other countries, the foreign government rebates (forgives) the tax.   That creates an irresistible magnet to attract U.S. companies to transfer their plants to a land where they can avoid most of both countries' taxes.   It's no wonder that DaimlerChrysler AG will soon start building cars in [Red China] to ship back and sell in the United States under Chrysler names such as Dodge and Jeep.   This decision means that 11K manufacturing jobs and 2K white-collar jobs will be eliminated over the next 24 months...   This should be prohibited because it is a huge subsidy, but world trade agreements have peculiarly defined subsidy to exclude tax rebates to exporters by calling it a rebate of the value-added tax.   They get by with this subterfuge because that term is not understood by most Americans.   One way the United States is different from nearly all other countries is its system of taxation.   The United States imposes taxes on income.   We pay taxes on what we earn.   Whereas 157 other countries impose taxes on consumption.   They pay taxes on what they buy and call them value-added taxes, or VAT.   The VAT system not only operates as a bribe to induce U.S. plants to move over-seas, but it also operates to prevent U.S. products from being competitively sold in foreign countries.   Here is how it works.   When a U.S. product, such as an automobile, arrives at another country's port, the foreign government slaps on a VAT import tax that is a percentage of the price of the U.S. product, the transportation cost to get it to the foreign country, and the tariff that the foreign country charges.   For 40 years, the United States has been signing trade agreements that were supposed to reduce or eliminate tariffs and thereby promote free trade.   European countries sanctimoniously proclaim that they are reducing their tariffs, but in fact they replaced their tariffs with a steadily increasing VAT.   In 1968, the average tariff rate collected by European Union countries was 10.4%, and the average VAT rate was 13.44%, making a trade barrier against U.S. goods of 23.84%.   By 2006, the average tariff rate declined to 4.4%, but the average VAT rate climbed to 19.36%, making the trade barrier against U.S. products 23.76%."

Jeff Emanuel _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
American troops are winning over journalists, one heart, one mind, and one life at a time

Frank Salvato _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
What do they know and why don't they know it?
"all Americans are vested with this commitment and that in addition to the principles, ideals and tenets of our founding documents each and every one of us is obligated to at least understanding the philosophy that influenced our Founders and Framers to compose such a revolutionary form of self-governance... many in Congress from both sides of the aisle – and perhaps most people elected to office – are sadly devoid of a proper understanding of the Constitution and just exactly what it is they are required to do for their constituencies."

Michael Franc _Town Hall_
The Wrong Way to Fuel Competitiveness
"Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) was one of the few senators who grasped the futility of this legislative exercise.   'There is no need', he argued, 'for us to be spending billions and billions of dollars to encourage Americans to be better at math and science if the research and development is moving to other countries.'   Indeed, in a recent survey, the CEOs who run the U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies (an increasingly important source of U.S. job growth) listed America's high tax rates, along with our costly health-care system, government regulations and runaway legal costs, as the top reasons foreign firms consider taking their investment to other countries.   Ironically, these CEOs reported, 'the United States' biggest selling point is its high quality work force'.   [But then deMint and Franc dropped off the deep end...jgo]"

Mark R. Taylor _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
Battle to the death

Jefferson George _Charlotte Observer_
Gaston county moved accounts from Bank of India to Wachovia after news that the former was catering to illegal aliens

Jim Kouri _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
US law enforcement combats border violence in the southwest

S&P 5001,494.07
10-year US T-Bond4.70%
crude oil66.46
unleadedgasolineNYMEX no longer trading

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

  "...a little Reflection may incline us to doubt whether these advantages are not greater in Theory than in Practice -- or lead us to enquire whether there is not some prevailing Principle in Republican Government...   This invinciple Principle is to be found in the Love, the Affection, the Attachment of the Citizens to their Laws, to their Freedom, & to their Country.   Every Husbandman will be quickly converted into a Soldier, when he knows & feels that he is to fight not in defence of the Rights of a particular Family, or a Prince; but for his own." --- George Mason 1787-06-04  



Jeff Emanuel _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
In the words of the troops: Giving the Iraqi people a chance at a brighter future

Raymond L. Smith _Tribune Chronicle_
Teens are discovering that warm-weather jobs are difficult to find
"Sankey began looking for work about 6 months ago.   He wants to have his own spending money, and he wants to begin saving for college...   Nationally, teen summer employment tumbled in 2002 and has remained at some of the lowest levels in decades...   Cedar Fair has 12 amusement parks and 5 water parks in its chain, including the 2 northern Ohio parks and Kings Island [between] Cincinnati [and Columbus].   In addition to local teens and young adults, the parks bring in international students to work and live...   Hourly pay begins at $6.85 per hour and increases based on experience...   Last week, [Kent State] university had its annual spring job fair for students, graduates and others who are looking for work.   Approximately 40 employers were at the fair looking for people to fill full and part time positions."

"a Talmid" _Zchus Avos Yogen Aleinu_
Reb Naftali Ropshitzer on the subject of yichus

  "I will not quarrel with Professor Glendon over whether tyranny by the majority or tyranny by the powerful few is the more likely outcome of the theories of constitutional interpretation that now prevail.   She thinks the latter.   I think the latter in the short term (we are there now); but ultimately the former...   In any event, neither outcome is a desirable one." --- Antonin Scalia 1997 "Response" in Amy Gutmann, Antonin Scalia et al. 1997 _A Matter of Interpretation_ pg 144  



Gail Appleson _St. Louis Post-Dispatch_
Baby boomers drive age bias suits
"[Decades with firm, 'outstanding' rating right up until he was dumped at age 55 while younger workers with lower ratings were kept on.] C took his complaint to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which sued Lucent for age discrimination.   This month, Lucent said it had done nothing wrong but agreed to pay $195K to settle the case...   In fact, this month Circuit City Stores Inc. was sued by employees who lost their jobs in a move by the company to get rid of 3,400 higher-paid workers.   The law-suit, filed in California, alleges that the terminations violated state law barring age discrimination.   The suit seeks class-action status.   It was filed by three employees, ages 57, 59 and 66...   According to the Census Bureau, there were 78.2M baby boomers as of 2005 July 1.   Many boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, have fought for civil rights, are bolder than the previous generation, and will stand up for themselves when they fall victim to what they see as unfair treatment...   Some say there has been a steady increase in age-bias allegations, but that the EEOC figures exclude many law-suits in state courts as well as matters that were resolved before reaching government agencies or courts.   However, others say a healthy economy and low unemployment mean fewer law-suits...   State law allows plaintiffs to seek higher damages in Missouri courts than in the federal system...   In October, Judge E. Richard Webber ruled that Allstate's one-year freeze on rehiring former sales agents had an adverse impact on older agents and that a jury should decide whether the policy falls under an exception to the ADEA.   That ruling is being appealed.   Webber's ruling stems from an EEOC law-suit against Allstate alleging that in 2000 the company fired its sales agents, offered to make them independent contractors and refused to rehire them in other positions for one year.   Because more than 90% of the agents were 40 years of age or older, the EEOC alleged that Allstate's rehiring policy violated the ADEA...   the bulk of age-discrimination complaints are brought by a sole plaintiff.   These plaintiffs tend to have several things in common: They've worked for one employer for many years, have been stellar performers and were fired after new managers had taken over."

  "They had no idea how suddenly & decisively the former Austrian corporal could strike.   On 1933-02-27, less than a month after Hitler had been sworn in, the Reichstag went up in flames; the next day, the new chancellor prevailed on [Reichspraesident] Hindenburg to sign a decree 'for the protection of the people... against Communist acts of violence'.   The decree left no constitutional liberty unviolated.   'Restrictions on personal liberty... on the right of free experssion of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly & association; & violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic & telephonic communications; & warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed'.   A Reichstag majority for these measures was achieved by the simple device of expelling, also with President Hindenburg's approval, all 81 Communist legislators." --- Otto Friedrich 1995 _Blood & Iron_ pg 298  



2007-04-30 06:10PDT (09:10EDT) (13:10GMT)
Todd Hartley interviews Olga Robles _Phoenix News_
Living with swarms of illegal aliens around your home, car-jackings, and their effects on America

More than 1 in 10 Deschutes county Oregon in-mates are illegal aliens
"The e-mail was forwarded last Monday to the person who would know best, Sheriff Larry Blanton.   His reply regarding the 228-bed jail: 'Today we have 26 (illegal aliens) on hold, all with pending criminal issues -- none just for illegal status.'   Sue Brewster, the sheriff's office's legal counsel, added that the jail does not have a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service) 'to hold illegal immigrants and hasn't had for years, so all illegal immigrants who are in the jail have criminal charges...   [Once] the DA makes the decision to charge an illegal imigrant with an ICE detainer, they are afforded all the protections of our legal process, like everyone else.   After they serve their sentence, they are sent to ICE.'...   'A conviction for a number of crimes committed by a legal resident alien will result in deportation proceedings.', Dugan explained.   'Even naturalized citizens can be deported if they commit the appropriate crime (almost all sex offenses and drug offenses).   The illegal alien who is arrested is also a ''person'' in the eyes of the Constitution and the law.   This person is entitled to all the rights afforded in those documents.   If there is no conviction, there would be no restriction on that person being able to re-enter the USA upon legal application.   If there is a conviction, followed by deportation, there are much more serious consequences if that person re-enters the USA without the legal authority.', the prosecutor wrote.   'If we do not file charges, as we would against any citizen or legal alien, we would be treating those persons differently and would be in violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.   That has something to do with equal protection.'...   The DA later forwarded a news story out of Colorado in which a teenage rape victim happened to see her attacker on the street, weeks after he'd agreed to voluntary deportation.   A state law-maker there has proposed closing a loop-hole and would bar the dismissal of criminal charges when illegal immigrants are released to federal immigration officials.   Instead, a judge would have to issue an arrest warrant, so if a deported offender was caught re-entering the country, they would be re-arrested on the prior charge."

Bill Freehling & Keith Epps _Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star_
Immigrant arrest data is sketchy
"Area law enforcement agencies say they do not keep statistics on the number of illegal immigrants involved in criminal incidents and arrests.   Spotsylvania county sheriff's spokeswoman sergeant Liz Enslen said their deputies will sometimes note whether the arrestee is here illegally.   If the person is a foreign national, they'll often notify their consulate about it.   King George County sheriff's captain Steve Dempsey said deputies ask about the suspect's citizenship when they make an arrest.   But he said there's no way of analyzing data on how many illegal immigrants have been arrested over the years.   The Rappahannock Regional Jail sends paper-work on inmates to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but the jail does not keep immigration status data either.   On its web site, USICE states that they've removed more than 400K illegal aliens since fiscal 2004.   More than 210K of those had criminal records."

Barbara Ehrenreich _Huffington Post_
Higher Education Scam
"the higher education industry is becoming a racket: Buy our product or be condemned to life of penury, and our product can easily cost well over $100K.   The pundits keep chanting that we need a more highly skilled work-force, by which they mean more college graduates, although the connection between college and skills is not always crystal clear.   [Marilee Jones], for example, was performing a complex job requiring considerable judgment, experience and sensitivity without the benefit of any college degree.   And how about all those business majors -- business being the most popular under-graduate major in America?   It seems to me that a 2-year course in math and writing skills should be more than sufficient to prepare someone for a career in banking, marketing, or management.   Most of what you need to know you're going to learn on the job anyway.   But in the last 3 decades the percentage of jobs requiring at least some college has doubled, which means that employers are going along with the college racket.   A resume without a college degree is never going to get past the computer programs that screen applications...   we need a distinguished blue ribbon commission to investigate its role as a toll booth on the road to employment, and the obvious person to head up this commission is Marilee Jones."

Alan M. Dershowitz _Front Page Magazine_
the real Jimmy Carter

  "If the principle were to prevail of a common law [i.e. a single government] being in force in the United States... it would become the most corrupt government on the earth." --- Thomas Jefferson 1800-08-13  


2007 April
Alan S. Blinder _Foreign Affairs_
Off-Shoring: The on-going industrial destruction
"Mankiw and his defenders under-estimated both the importance of off-shoring and its disruptive effect on wealthy countries.   Sometimes a quantitative change is so large that it brings about qualitative changes, as off-shoring likely will.   We have so far barely seen the tip of the off-shoring ice-berg, the eventual dimensions of which may be staggering...   That said, we should not view the coming wave of offshoring as an impending catastrophe.   Nor should we try to stop it.   The normal gains from trade mean that the world as a whole cannot lose from increases in productivity, and the United States and other industrial countries have not only weathered but also benefited from comparable changes in the past.   But in order to do so again, the governments and societies of the developed world must face up to the massive, complex, and multifaceted challenges that offshoring will bring.   National data systems, trade policies, educational systems, social welfare programs, and politics all must adapt to new realities.   Unfortunately, none of this is happening now...   It has been estimated that in 1810, 84% of the U.S. work force was engaged in agriculture, compared to a paltry 3% in manufacturing.   By 1960, manufacturing's share had risen to almost 25% and agriculture's had dwindled to just 8%.   (Today, agriculture's share is under 2%.) ...   In 1960, about 35% of nonagricultural workers in the United States produced goods and 65% produced services.   By 2004, only about one-sixth [17%] of the United States' non-agricultural jobs were in goods-producing industries, while five-sixths [83%] produced services.   This trend is worldwide and continuing.   Between 1967 and 2003 [well into the Clinton-Bush depression], according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], the service sector's share of total jobs increased by about 19 percentage points in the United States, 21 points in Japan, and roughly 25 points in France, Italy, and the United Kingdom...   (By charming historical coincidence, the actual number of Americans working on farms today -- around 2M -- is about what it was in 1810.)...   the problem with relying on education as the remedy for potential job losses is that 'other things' are not remotely close to equal.   The critical divide in the future may instead be between those types of work that are easily deliverable through a wire (or via wireless connections) with little or no diminution in quality and those that are not.   And this unconventional divide does not correspond well to traditional distinctions between jobs that require high levels of education and jobs that do not...   Economists refer to the 'cost disease' of the personal services as Baumol's disease, after the economist who discovered it, William Baumol.   The problem stems from the fact that in many personal services, productivity improvements are either impossible or highly undesirable.   In the 'impossible' category, think of how many musician hours it took to play one of Mozart's string quartets in 1790 versus in 1990, or how many bus drivers it takes to get children to school today versus a generation ago.   In the 'undesirable' category, think of school teachers.   Their productivity can be increased rather easily: by raising class size, which squeezes more student output from the same teacher input.   But most people view such "productivity improvements" as deteriorations in educational quality, a view that is well supported by research findings.   With little room for genuine productivity improvements, and with the general level of real wages rising all the time, personal services are condemned to grow ever more expensive (relative to other items) over time.   That is the essence of Baumol's disease...   the United States and other rich nations will have to transform their educational systems so as to prepare workers for the jobs that will actually exist in their societies.   Basically, that requires training more workers for personal services and fewer for many impersonal services and manufacturing...   education is far from a panacea, and the examples given earlier show that the rich countries will retain many jobs that require little education...   people skills may become more valuable than computer skills.   The geeks may not inherit the earth after all -- at least not the highly paid geeks in the rich countries.   Creativity will be prized...   Unfortunately, creativity and imagination are notoriously difficult to teach in schools -- although, in this respect, the United States does seem to have a leg up on countries such as Germany and Japan.   Moreover, it is hard to imagine that truly creative positions will ever constitute anything close to the majority of jobs.   What will everyone else do?...   the United States may have to repair and thicken the tattered safety net that supports workers who fall off the labor-market trapeze -- improving programs ranging from unemployment insurance to job retraining, health insurance, pensions, and right down to public assistance...   To repeat, none of this is to suggest that there will be massive unemployment; rather, there will be a massive transition.   An effective safety net would ease the pain and, by so doing, speed up the adjustment...   the new cadres of displaced workers, especially those who are drawn from the upper educational reaches, will be neither as passive nor as quiet.   They will also be numerous."
How many jobs might be off-shored

2007 April
Daniel K. Correa _Information Technology & Innovation Foundation_
Assessing Broad-Band in the USA [pdf]
"The number of U.S. broadband subscribers per 100 people grew to 19.6 in 2006 December, up 0.4 percentage points from 19.2 in 2006 June... Broad-band penetration in Switzerland has reached 28.5 subscribers per 100 people, the 5th highest in the OECD. Japan ranks 14th with just 20.2 broadband subscribers per 100 people. From these numbers one might conclude that broadband in Switzerland is more advanced. The real picture, however, is far different. Although a smaller share subscribe in Japan, residents have access to a much more robust network. In the majority of Japan that is served by NTT East, 100 mbps fiber optic service is available to 75% of residents, typically for about $27/month (PPP). Indeed, Japanese citizens enjoy the fastest broadband in the world at the lowest prices per bit. OTOH, the fastest connection widely available in Switzerland is 2.4 mbps DSL, at a price of approximately $52/month (PPP). That amounts to twice the price of Japanese broadband for a fraction of the performance."
RankNationSubscribers per HouseholdAverage Speed (million bits per second)Price per month per mbps for fastest serviceOverall Score

2007 April
John Miano _Center for Immigration Studies_
Low Salaries for Low Skills: Wages and Skill Levels for H-1B Computer Workers, 2005 (most recent data available from the government)
"Very few H-1B workers are 'highly-skilled'.   Employers who used the Department of Labor’s skill-based prevailing wage system classified most workers (56%) as being at the lowest skill level (Level I) as did most State Employment Security Agency (SESA) wage determinations (57%).   This suggests that most H-1B computer workers are low-skilled workers who make no special contribution to the American economy, or that employers are deliberately understating workers' skills in order to justify paying them lower salaries.   According to the applications filed in 2005, it appears that employers may be significantly understating what U.S. computer workers are earning in order to justify paying low wages to H-1B guest-workers in those occupations.   In FY2005, H-1B employer prevailing wage claims averaged $16K below the median wage for U.S. computer workers in the same location and occupation.   90% of H-1B employer prevailing wage claims for programming occupations were below the median U.S. wage for the same occupation and location, with 62% of the wage claims in the bottom 25th percentile of U.S. wages.   While higher than the prevailing wage claims, the actual wages reported for H-1B workers were significantly less than those of their American counterparts.   Wages for H-1B workers averaged $12K below the median wage for U.S. workers in the same occupation and location.   The reported wages for 84% of H-1B workers were below the median U.S. wage; 51% were in the bottom 25th percentile of U.S. wages.   Many employers make prevailing wage claims using wage sources that are not valid under the law.   The Department of Labor routinely approves prevailing wage claims based on these invalid sources."

2007 Spring
Randall G. Holcombe _Journal of Libertarian Studies_
Is government really inevitable?: part of an on-going set of debates between minarcho-libertarians and anarcho-liberterains... and the occasional passers by

  "At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities, that have prevailed by associating themselves with auxiliaries whose objects often differed from their own; and this association, which is always dangerous, has been sometimes disastrous, by giving to opponents just grounds of opposition, and by kindling dispute over the spoils in the hour of success." --- Lord Acton  


Proposed Bills 2007

  "The reason for not misleading Congress is a very practical one.   It's stupid!   It's self-defeating, because while it may in fact allow you to prevail in the problem of the moment, eventually you destroy the president's credibility." --- Dick Cheney 1987-07-20 (quoted in Hedrick Smith 1988 _The Power Game_ pg 625)  

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