2007 October

1st month of the 4th quarter of the 18th year of the Bush-Clinton-Shrub economic depression

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updated: 2018-04-18

  "Mean peak life-time creativity was significantly higher in the index group than in the controls, with the highest levels of creativity being not in the manic-depressives but in the cyclo-thymes & in the normal relatives of people with mood disorders.   In interpreting the findings, Richards & her colleagues suggest that some of the normal relatives in question may have been hyper-thymic, or otherwise mildly affected with mood problems at the soft end of the bi-polar spectrum.   Not normalcy alone, but normalcy in the relatives of bi-polar patients, predicted greater creativity." --- Melvin Konner "Art of Darkness" _Why the Reckless Survive_  

2007 October
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  "Capitalism cannot work with slave labor...   What greater virtue can one ascribe to a social system than the fact that it leaves no possibility for any man to serve his own interests by enslaving other men?   What nobler system could be desired by anyone whose goal is man's well-being?" --- Ayn Rand "Theory and Practice" _Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal_ pg 136  




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

2007 October

1st month of the 4th quarter of the 8th year of the Clinton-Bush economic depression



Dice Report: 97,291 job ads

body shop37,953

graph of job ads by OS and language
graph of job ads by perm vs. temp

2007-10-01 11:04PDT (14:04EDT) (18:04GMT)
Wilson Ring _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Change in Federal Law Could Make Bringing in Cheap Foreign Workers Harder for Ski Industry
"Riehle said Vermont's 18 ski resorts rely on the H-2B program for about 10% to 15% of its workers.   At its winter peak, the ski areas employ about 22K people.   'We're coming down to the wire throughout the month of October.', Riehle said.   'It's the critical time for us to determine where the numbers are.'   In fiscal 2006, the U.S admitted a total of 122,511 foreign workers under the H-2B program.   Of the total 50,854 were returning workers, said Shawn Saucier, a spokesman for U.S Citizenship and Immigration services.   'Potentially you are looking at a loss of 50K workers.', Saucier said.   Half of the workers admitted under the H-2B program are for winter employment and half are for summer employment.   Saucier could not say how many of the returning workers were winter or summer workers...   Nationwide, about 5% of the ski industry's workers are hired through the H-2B program, said Geraldine Link, the director of public policy at the Colorado-based National Ski Areas Association...   The federal Save Our Small and Seasonal Business Act of 2005 allowed workers who had previously held H-2B visas to return without being counted against the annual 66K-worker cap, Saucier said.   In 2006, the State Department issued 71,687 H-2B visas while 50,854 people returned without being counted against the cap, said Saucier...   In Maine, there are about 4K full-time equivalent jobs in the ski industry, according to the Ski Maine Association.   But Maine resorts don't rely on foreign workers anywhere close to what Vermont does, in part because the state gets about a quarter of the number of skiers each year."

2007-10-01 09:58PDT (12:58EDT) (16:58GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM manufacturing index fell from 52.9 in August to 52 in September

Frosty Wooldridge _News with Veiws_
Importing constant competition against our people
American Daily
"Last week, Henri from Connecticut asked, 'Why is our Congress importing an endless line of cheap labor into our country to create unfair competition against our own citizens?'   Why would our own U.S. Senators stand around picking their noises while our country suffers an invasion of cheap, pliant, slave labor?   Why over one million H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and other visas that displace Americans?   Why would that same Congress out-source, in-source and off-shore millions of American jobs?   What might cause them to make you and me pay our hard earned money to educate, medicate and feed millions of kids and mothers from other countries?   After they haven't secured our borders to let 20M illegal migrants flood our labor markets, why would they try to ram a Dream Act down our throats so we're forced to pay billions more to allow those alien kids a college education with our money?   Not only that, each one they would assist from a foreign country would take a college slot from our kids!"


ISM manufacturing index fell from 52.9 in August to 52 in September
Hartford Businss Journal
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

_AeA_ Cyberstates reports paint a picture more grim than their current spin
2002: High-tech employment totaled 5.6M in 2001, up slightly from 5.5M
2003: High-tech employment totaled 6M in 2002, down from 6.5M in 2001
2007: High-tech employment totaled 5.8M in 2006, up by 146,600, or by 3%
U.S. high-tech industry added only 118,500 jobs between 2007 January and June, a 2% rise, for a total of 5.94M, significantly less than the 143K tech jobs added in the first half of 2006
Note: AeA is a lobbyist for tech executives.   They therefore have a vested interest in making it appear that the US tech job market is healthy rather than dysfunctional, and to drive down compensation by flooding the job markets with cheap, pliant guest-workers.

_Chicago IL Tribune_
tentative GM contract with UAS includes closing 13 more plants, 2,300 employees; 73K hourly employees to vote

_Science Daily_/_NIH_/_National Human Genome Research Institute_
Both abnormal levels of cholesterol linked to premature births
"In a new study, NHGRI's Max Muenke, M.D.; Robin J. Edison, M.D., M.P.H.; Kate Berg, Ph.D.; and colleagues from the NIH Clinical Center; Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore; Howard University, Washington; and Greenwood Genetic Center, Greenwood, SC, confirm previous findings by other groups that very high levels of maternal cholesterol can increase the risk of premature birth.   However, in a surprising new twist, the researchers found that low maternal cholesterol levels, which may be related to a woman's genetic makeup, diet or other health factors, also may lead to adverse birth outcomes, including premature birth and low birth weight...   'Based on our initial findings, it appears that too little cholesterol may be as bad as too much cholesterol during pregnancy, but it is too early to extrapolate these results to the general population.   More research is needed to replicate this outcome and to extend it to other groups.', said Dr. Muenke, the study's senior author and chief of the Medical Genetics Branch in NHGRI's Division of Intramural Research.   'For now, the best advice for pregnant women is to follow the guidance of their health care providers when it comes to diet and exercise.'...   Factors contributing to premature birth include maternal genetics, fetal genetics and environmental components, such as nutrition, stress, and infection...   The article, 'The Changing Face of Preterm Labor', is published in the October issue of the journal Pediatrics, and is authored by Mario Merialdi, M.D., and Jeffrey C. Murray, M.D."


Walter V. Collier _Diverse Issues in Higher Education_
Empty Promises in the STEM Fields
"industry has been steadily [off-shore] out-sourcing STEM jobs and importing STEM talent from other countries through the increasing use of immigration visa programs.   This raises an important question: To what extent has or will this practice of getting STEM talent as expeditiously as possible from elsewhere take away from jobs that Americans can and want to fill -- especially African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, who have been traditionally under-represented in the STEM work-force?...   What motivates U.S. industry to look beyond our borders are the lower salaries that STEM professionals from other countries are willing to accept.   For instance, according to a study conducted by the Washington, DC-based Center for Immigration Studies, non-U.S. citizen computer analysts/programmers working in the United States on an H-1B visa are paid significantly less than their American counterparts...   In its report, 'The Science and Engineering Work-force: Realizing America's Potential', the National Science Board states that 'Census-based estimates of the population of S&E occupations filled by scientists and engineers born abroad show steep increases at every degree level from 1990 to 2000, reflecting both the immigration patterns of the 1990s and the inflow of foreign specialists under various work visa categories.'..."

2007-10-03 08:22PDT (11:22EDT) (15:22GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM non-manufacturing index fell from 55.8 in August to 54.8 in September

Lay-Offs Hit Mortgage Companies: Overall lay-off announcements are down 9.7%
Houston Chronicle
Business Week
Washington Post
"More than a third of last month's 71,739 announced job cuts (27,169) came from mortgage lenders, construction companies and real estate firms, according to employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.   In August, 35,752 jobs were lost in the field.   So far this year, about 1 job cut in 6 is directly related to the struggling housing market, it said.   So far this year, the finance industry has cut 129,927 jobs.   About 54%, or 69,664, were at mortgage and sub-prime lending institutions, compared with 12,874 a year ago.   In 2006, there were 50,327 finance-related job cuts.  
Announced lay-offs totaled 71,739 in September, down 9.7% from 79,459 in August, when it hit a 6-month high.   They were 28.5% lower than 2006 September, when employers announced 100,315 job cuts, one of only 2 times last year when monthly job cuts exceeded 100K.  
Year to date, employers have announced 587,594 job cuts, 8.1% fewer than the 639,229 cuts announced in the same period a year ago.  
Housing-related job cuts in the financial, construction and real estate sectors account for 97,509 or 16.6% of this year's job cuts.   In contrast, these 3 sectors represented less than 2% of the January-through-September job-cut total in 2006.  
The second-ranked job cutter, the automotive industry, has announced a relatively smaller 46,237 job cuts this year, down from the 111,642 it announced through 2006 September, Challenger Gray said.  
In July, a total of 1.5M workers were discharged from their jobs involuntarily, representing about 1.1% of total employment, according to the latest available US Labor Department data on mass lay-offs from firms that employ many individuals.   By comparison, 2.9M people quit their jobs voluntarily in July."


2007-10-04 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 253,554 in the week ending Sept. 29, an increase of 4,930 from the previous week.   There were 249,288 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.6% during the week ending Sept. 22, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,144,440, a decrease of 21,214 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.6% and the volume was 2,056,523.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending Sept. 15."

Pru Sowers _PrivinceTown Banner_
US workers celebrate demise of exemption of H-2B renewal from cap
"The exemption would allow seasonal foreign staff that had previously worked in a town to not be counted against the 66K cap on temporary workers allowed into the U.S. each year...   [Some spoiled employers have come to depend] on staff from Jamaica, eastern Europe and other countries to make up a large percentage of its summer work force [anything to avoid hiring US citizens]."

Bill Gertz _Washington Times_
GOP urges probe of Defense net-work equipment deal with Red Chinese firm
"Several Republican members of Congress yesterday called for a Treasury Department probe into whether Pentagon computer networks will be compromised by the merger of a U.S. network-equipment maker and a [Red Chinese] firm with links to Beijing's military.   Senior Pentagon officials, meanwhile, are investigating the security aspects of the announced plan for [Red China's] Huawei Technologies and the investment firm Bain Capital Partners to buy 3Com, which makes equipment used by the Pentagon to block computer hackers, including those from the [Red Chinese] military...   Republican representatives Peter Hoekstra of Michigan and Duncan Hunter of California wrote to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. formally requesting that CFIUS conduct a security review of the deal, which was announced by 3Com last week."

Brian Lafferty _WashTech_
Washington governor Chris Gregoire on Perma-Temp
"On October 3rd at a town hall meeting in Seattle, Washington State governor Chris Gregoire met with residents under the auspices of 'Building a Better Future for Washington Families'.   However, when it comes to the future of tech workers, governor Gregoire appears to be firmly on the side of companies who want to bring in more H-1B visa guest workers, rather than thousands of Washington's tech workers who are struggling to find work, or losing their jobs to lower wage replacements domestically or abroad.   WashTech member, Rennie Sawade, asked what the governor was doing to improve things for tech workers."

John McKee _Tech Republic_/_CNET_/_Ziff Davis_
Do family values equal more productivity?
"nobody can perform at their highest level if they're worried about family or financial issues all day long"

Patrick Thibodeau _Tech World_/_IDG_
Tech grads getting higher salaries, but workers may face perils
Computer World
"The heightened interest is borne out by survey data collected by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which last month said that computer science graduates have been offered an average salary of $53,051 this year, up 4.5% from last year's level.   Contomanolis is present-elect of Bethlehem, PA-based NACE, which also said that this year's graduates with management information systems degrees have received an average starting salary offer of $47,407, up 4.7% year to year.   The salaries being offered to computer science graduates from the class of 2007 are the highest reported to NACE in the past 7 years.   The next-highest salary level was recorded in 2001, when graduates were offered an average of $52,473.   The low point was in 2003, when the average salary offer dropped to $47,109, according to NACE.
The fact that recruiters now have a smaller pool of computer science students to choose from may be contributing to the increased salary offers.   For instance, according to the Computing Research Association (CRA), the 170 institutions in North America that grant computer science degrees up to the Ph.D. level reported a total of 10,206 bachelor's-degree graduates for the academic year that ended in the Spring of 2006 -- the most recent one for which data is available.   That was down by nearly one-third from the level at the start of this decade, when there were more than 14K graduates annually...
Prospective employers 'are all eager to talk to you, but it's still going to be tough to get a job.', Bishop said.   'They are being incredibly selective.'   For many established workers, the picture is less pretty than it is for new graduates.   For instance, Electronic Data Systems Corp. [EDS] said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last month that it was offering an early retirement program to about 12K of its 50K U.S. workers.   Sun Microsystems Inc. said this week that it plans to cut 1,500 employees as part of a work-force reduction program announced in early August.   And Intel Corp. recently confirmed that its IT staff is being cut by as much as 10% after an anonymous blogger described the lay-off process in detail.   Those actions indicate that 'mid-career workers better beware', said Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at RIT and author of the book _Out-Sourcing America_ (American Management Association, 2005).   'The same firms that are laying off thousands are clamoring that they need more foreign workers.', Hira said.   'One interpretation of this phenomenon is that companies have no interest in retraining or retaining incumbent workers to fill those positions.'"

David A. Utter _Web Pro News_
Old Guy Smacks Google for Age Discrimination


Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
Cohen & Grigsby exec continues feeble defense of comments that sparked controversy, saying they were "legally correct"
"The law firm that last spring inadvertently gave H-1B visa opponents a YouTube sound bite for the ages said in a lengthy letter to two federal lawmakers that it "regrets certain ill-chosen language" but did nothing legally or ethically wrong.   Pittsburgh-based Cohen & Grigsby PC sent the letter to senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) in July, after the 2 congressmen had written the law firm with questions about a video posted on YouTube LLC's web site featuring clips from a seminar that Cohen & Grigsby held May 15.   During the seminar, attorneys from the firm's immigration law group provided advice on hiring foreign nationals and obtaining green cards for workers from over-seas [and paying guest-workers as little as legally possible].   Grassley's office provided a copy of Cohen & Grigsby's letter to Computerworld this week, following a request for the document.   It also released a letter to Grassley from Emily Stover DeRocco, assistant secretary for training and administration at the U.S. Department of Labor, who wrote that the DoL was reviewing green card applications filed by Cohen & Grigsby for clients 'to verify that U.S. workers who applied but were not selected for advertised positions were rejected for lawful reasons'.   DeRocco's letter was a response to a request made by Grassley and Smith to DoL Secretary Elaine Chao, in which they asked the agency to review the YouTube video and investigate the law firm's procedures...   However, the [ads are derided] by critics, who contend that the employers aren't seriously looking for candidates other than the foreign workers they already have in mind...   In the letter that Grassley and Smith sent to Chao, they claimed that the video exposed a 'blatant disregard for American workers and [a] deliberate attempt to bring in cheaper foreign workers through the H-1B program'...   Grassley and Smith, in their letter to the law firm, said comments made in the video advise potential employers that they can meet the Labor Department's requirements by advertising positions 'in places where they will not find the most qualified applicant' -- for instance, in publications with limited circulations.   In response to that point, Elliott wrote in his letter, 'It is common and legal for employers to choose less expensive options that fully meet DoL requirements.   We are well aware that many persons who understand the labor certification process find it unfair to American applicants who are led to believe that an advertised job posting represents an open position that an employer wishes to fill immediately.', Elliott added.   'However, the appropriate response, we respectfully suggest, is not to challenge those who attempt to live by the rules, but to change the rules.'   Berry called the advertising requirement a sham and said that even if qualified workers apply for a job, they know they won't get it.   The mission of the Labor Department is to help job seekers, Berry said.   But he claimed that there's a 'wide discrepancy' between the DoL's stated mission and the agency's 'condoning of bringing in qualified Americans to job interviews for the sole purpose of finding some basis to disqualify them, and to give those jobs to a citizen of another country'.   John Miano, the founder of the Programmers Guild, said the YouTube video will remain 'the theme song of any debate' on this issue.   Miano doesn't expect the video to change anything, but he pointed out that when employers advertise for workers, they attest that they're acting in good faith.   That isn't always the case, he said."
alternate source for the video (requires flash)

S&P 5001,557.59
10-year US T-Bond4.64%
crude oil$81.22/barrel
natural gas$7.073/MBTU

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

  "I place economy among the first & most important virtues, & public debt as the greatest danger to be feared." --- Thomas Jefferson  



Tony DiRomualdo _Wisconsin Technology Network_
Are America's software skills getting soft, or is it just soft ethics in the executive suites?
"Opponents argue there is plenty of skilled home-grown technical talent, but companies like these simply don't want to pay the U.S. market rate for them.   Instead, they use the H-1B program to import foreigners willing to work at cut-rate prices.   Many academics studying the H-1B program are critical of it.   Vivek Wadhwa, [a former cross-border bodyshopper and now] executive-in-residence at Duke University's Pratt School of engineering, said, 'The H-1B program is deeply flawed.   It's lose-lose for the U.S. economy and for the technology profession, and lose-lose for the H-1B workers themselves.'   Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, points out that government data shows that the medium wage in 2005 for new H-1B computing professionals was just $50K.   That figure is lower than the entry-level wages that a newly graduated tech worker with a bachelor's degree and no experience would command in most regions of the U.S.A.   In addition, these workers hold employer-sponsored visas that make them captive employees.   They are not allowed to quit and take another U.S.-based job and must return to their home countries immediately if they lose their employer-sponsored position.   Further undermining the argument that H-1B's are used mostly for scarce high-caliber talent is the fact that a full 56% of applications filed are for H-1B workers with the lowest skill level (level 1 of 4), according to the Department of Labor.   Says Jessica Vaughan, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies, 'It's difficult to say whether the people coming in are really less skilled, or whether firms are simply claiming they are to avoid paying them market salaries.   Either way, it's an indictment of the system.'   In addition, many suspect the H-1B visa is being used to facilitate the permanent relocation of American IT jobs off shore.   According to the Department of Labor, 7 of the top 10 employers of H-1B visa holders have most of their staffs in India.   Those 7 employed 19,400 H-1B visa workers in 2006.   It should also be noted, however, that the H-1B visas also are being used to enable American companies to hire top-tier foreign graduates of U.S. universities such as the 60% of engineering PhD. degrees awarded annually to foreign nationals."


Not much of note happened today.


Warren Pease _On-Line Journal_
TOPOFF 4 and Vigilant Shield 08: a view from the "feverish fringe"
[This is kind of nutty, but what the heck.] "Fears and objections notwithstanding, though, Portlanders are being asked to welcome thousands of armed strangers -- from the DHS, FBI, DoD and other federal security agencies, NGOs, National Guard, local law enforcement -- as they gather to enact a week's worth of anti-terrorism drills called TOPOFF 4 and Operation Vigilant Shield 08.   TOPOFF 4 (short for 'top officials') is an exercise that simulates (we hope) the detonation of a 'dirty bomb' near Portland's Steel Bridge.   Vigilant Shield 08 simulates (we hope) imposition of martial law to control the civilian population in the aftermath of the radiological event...   There are no really serious corporations headquartered here (Intel has a large facility, but it's mostly engineers who could eventually be replaced by a new wave of H-1B visa holders).   Shipping is vital to this part of the northwest all the way down the Columbia towards Idaho, so a hit in or around the port -- like the one depicted in the map just below -- would truly punish the city commercially."

Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Critique of Cato Institute's study of international trade
"The Cato report never mentions the practice of US corporations of off-shoring their production for US markets.   Consequently, the report conflates off-shored inputs and final goods of US corporations with imports from competitive foreign firms.   The report thus confuses corporations or industries that off-shore their manufacturing with those most exposed to import competition...   Let's rewrite Cato's conclusion to take account of these facts: 'Revenues, profits, output, and value added rose the most for industries that offshored manufacturing, and they rose the least for those industries that produced their output domestically.'   Obviously, corporations that arbitrage labor and replace their US employees with less expensive foreign labor are going to enjoy greater growth in profits and value added...   However, free trade doctrine is based on the assumption that domestic capital seeks its comparative advantage in its home economy, specializing where its comparative advantage is best and, thereby, increasing the general welfare in the home economy.   David Ricardo, who explicated the case for free trade, rules out an economy's capital seeking absolute advantage abroad instead of comparative advantage at home."

William Gheen _Americans for Legal Immigration_


former Mexican president Zedillo joined the board of EDS

All of the good jobs are ripe for off-shoring: Jobs for B-school bozos will remain
"'Purely technical skills are the ones most likely to be out-sourced.', says Kate Kaiser, associate professor of Information Technology at Marquette University...   The gist: Jobs that combined business-savvy with technical expertise will remain; purely technical positions are vulnerable."

Steve Sailer _V Dare_
A Farewell to Alms: Why did the industrial revolution happen where it did?
"In the modern world, a shortage of cheap labor turned out to be a blessing rather than a curse.   The future belonged to countries with high wage, high quality work forces.   But the prestige of the economists and their Scroogeonomic emphasis on cheap labor was so great that Britain didn't even effectively out-law the use of 5-year-old boys as chimney sweeps until 1875...   Even though medieval England had a free market economy with negligible taxes, and while the lives of the affluent improved due to inventions such as eye-glasses and the printing press, farm laborers saw no increase in their daily calorie intake over these 600 years.   Indeed, the vast working class ate best in the generations after the Black Death of the mid-14th Century killed off a sizable fraction of the population, leaving more land and thus more of the roast beef of merrie olde England per survivor...   they practiced population control through self-discipline, postponing marriage until they could afford it.   Women didn't marry on average until age 24 to 26, and a minority never married.   (Illegitimate births only made up 3%-4% of the total.)   As Jane Austen's novels show, marriage was a serious business revolving around love and money."

Ken Borsuk _Wilton Bulletin_
Congressional races in Connecticut grow complicated
"However, Lee Whitnum, Greenwich resident and a DTC member, published author and former technical worker, officially threw her hat in the ring for a potential primary next year with Mr. Himes.   Ms. Whitnum, who has never run for political office, said she was inspired to run because she doesn't like the direction the country is headed.   She said the only way to fight to make the world a better place is to get involved.   Looking ahead, Ms. Whitnum predicted that Mr. Shays would not be the Republican candidate next fall.   'It's a ploy.', Ms. Whitnum said.   'I believe Republicans have already asked him to step down.   His saying this serves two purposes because it gives him a face-saving way to bow out of the race and it also tells other Republicans out there who might want to come forward and run in the race to please do so now.'...   Ms. Whitnum also pledged to work on illegal immigration, but in doing so she took a stance that could potentially prove unpopular within the party.   She said illegal workers in the country weren't paying taxes and that had to change, suggesting a registry so their wages could be taxed like every other worker's.   [Yep, she's a Dem, more concerned that someone, somewhere might avoid being extorted than the fact that they're here illegally.]   'If they don't want to sign up and register by a certain date, they need to be rounded up and deported.', Ms. Whitnum said, adding she would call for an elimination of the H1B Visa, which allows for foreign-born people to come to the United States to work and generally impacts technical positions.   'We have plenty of technical people here.   We have a surplus of 245K kids being turned out from American universities who will never find technical work.   I've been a displaced worker.   It's a racket put together by immigration lawyers, recruiting firms and technical companies.   They're screwing the American people.'"

2007-10-08 (5768 Tishrei 26)
Diana West _Jewish World Review_
Ramadan revisionism
"White House Ramadan is so much better than bingo.   In 2003 and 2004, Mr. Bush asked Faizul Khan, who is affiliated with the Saudi-funded Islamic Center of Washington and serves on the board of directors of the Islamic Society of North America, to give the blessing.   This year, the Justice Department officially labeled Islamic Society as a U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement aiming to establish a global Islamic empire, and also as an unindicted conspirator in the Hamas fund-raising Holy Land Foundation trial still awaiting a verdict in Dallas...   Take Talal Eid.   In 2006, Mr. Eid gave the blessing at the White House Ramadan dinner, and this year Mr. Bush appointed him to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.   As Robert Spencer has reported, Mr. Eid is a Wahhabi-trained imam certified by the anti-American Muslim World League who has actually called for the establishment of Shariah courts in the United States to regulate the family affairs of American Muslims...   Ms. [Ayaah Hirsch Ali] had to leave Washington and return to the Netherlands for security reasons.   Too bad Mr. Bush 'forgot' to invite her to the White House before she left -- not to mention all the other brave critics of Islamic repression, including Bat Ye'or, Brigitte Gabriel, Nonie Darwish and Wafa Sultan."


2007-10-09 12:16PDT (15:16EDT) (19:16GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
William Poole does not see recovery for some time
full prepared remarks on Real Estate in the US Economy

2007-10-09 (5768 Tishrei 27)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Clarence Thomas part 1
"Born in material poverty beyond anything experienced even by people on welfare today, Clarence Thomas was raised with an abundance of discipline and character-building that would pay off in later life.   This was largely the work of his grandfather, who raised him, and whom he now calls 'the greatest man I have ever known'.   But that was not his view at the time, when he was a child.   His grand-father, however, was not preoccupied -- like so many modern parents — with how the children see things.   He took his role as a parent to be to see things that children could not see, including challenges that they would encounter in later life...   In reality, Justice Thomas has been all over the place, giving talks, especially to young people, and inviting some of them to his offices at the Supreme Court.   Summers find him driving his own bus all around the country, mixing with people at truck stops, trailer parks and mall parking lots.   The fact that he is not out grandstanding for the media does not mean that he is hunkering down in his cellar."


Moira Herbst _Business Week_
The Great Tech Worker Divide
Close but you get no prize.

"For one popular visa, known as an H-1B, any worker from over-seas with an under-graduate degree qualifies."
Over a hundred people without even the equivalent of a US high school diploma had their H-1B visa applications approved in 2005, and hundreds more in preceding years, so, no, neither a bachelor's degree nor an associates's degree is required.

"Schofield's job is to help develop recruiting strategies to stay ahead of rivals like Google (GOOG), IBM (IBM), Yahoo! (YHOO), and SAP (SAP)."
So, his "tough job" is to stay ahead of the worst scum of the universe?   Why do journalists make such inept comparisons?   If you want them to look good, don't compare them to companies that engage in massive privacy violation, who cooperate with the Red Chinese rulers in suppressing free religious and political speech.   Compare them with a software product firm that does NOT body shop, that does not engage in or facilitate massive privacy violation... if you can find one.

"The biggest job gains in information technology in the past year have been for software engineers, IT managers, and network systems analysts.   IT management jobs are up more than 50% since 2001.   Meanwhile, programmers and support specialists -- the easiest categories to out-source -- continue to shed positions."
The guy who was called a programmer or analyst in 1980 or 1990 is called a software engineer today.   He's doing the same work, though his productivity has increased, for pretty much the same pay, except now he's being body shopped instead of having a steady job.   It's just a title change.   There's no real change.
Schofield simply does not make sense.   If he was serious about it, he'd join Gates and Ballmer and the rest of the executives in issuing a video-recorded apology and send it to Lou Dobbs and post it on YouTube and BitTorrent.   They'd take personal responsibility for the shoddy products they've churned out over the decades, for the security holes, for the perma-temp scam, for the vast increase in investment in and support of the Red Chinese government, and, yes, they'd apologize for bundling and other actions in restraint of trade.   They'd each say, "I, personally, am sorry for my role in doing this."   And they should frame the signed text of their apologies both outside the doors of their offices and on a wall inside their offices where they will see it several times every day (like a mark on their foreheads to warn others and on their right hands as a reminder to themselves never to engage in such abuses again).
They'd turn over 80% of their ill-gotten personal income and capital gains over the last 17 years (since H-1B) and put them into the employee stock and pension funds.   They'd end 90% of their on-shore and off-shore out-sourcing contracts and convert as many as wanted to into full-time permanent employees with vested stock and pension, etc.   They'd bring back every over-40 employee they've dumped over the last 15 years, or pay them back-pay in the form of stock.   They'd pay straight rates for over-time to every employee in every state where they're not required to pay more than straight pay for over-time.
Then they'd start fresh.   They should bring their functional literacy up to the point that they can effectively read and comprehend a tech resume.   Then, advertise those alleged 3K jobs in at least a dozen high-circulation newspapers across the USA and on at least 60 web-based US job boards (one for each state, since every government seems to be joining the act, plus a few extra since those government job boards are worse than useless).   And those web-based job boards and print ads should be in addition to those on sites and in publications owned in whole or part by M$, M$N, NBC, M$NBC, CNBC, etc.   Every one of those ads should contain the name of the hiring manager, that manager's e-mail address and voice telephone number, and an offer to relocate capable US citizens.   They should end their idiotic psychological warfare interview techniques, their "phone screens" and other ridiculous and obnoxious game-playing.
In return, congress should give them enhanced tax write-offs for the costs of bringing US citizens in for interviews, relocating US citizens, educating and training US citizens, and should increase the fees for visas to cover the full costs of the paper-work and for conducting actual serious feet-on-the-ground background investigations on each applicant.
Only if the numbers of visas were trimmed back to some semblance of reasonable numbers (e.g. 1K or fewer per year), I wouldn't mind H-1B visas reclassified to be permanent, or, with a quick and easy conversion to permanent.

"50% or more of the post-graduate degrees at U.S. universities are now awarded to foreign nationals."
Yes, that's what NSF expected would happen.   That's why they urged creation of the H-1B and expansion of F visas.   If F visas remained at a reasonable number of about 2K per year, it wouldn't be nearly as much of a problem, but it would not have achieved NSF's goal of driving down compensation for PhDs.   The government and executives in business and academe whining about it is like the guy who murdered his parents whining about being an orphan.

"Schofield says M$ representatives, including Gates himself, are visiting high schools and colleges..."
That's odd, since they were so busy lobbying that they didn't have time to visit the California State University campuses this last Spring.   The myths that needs to be dispelled are the ones that M$ has been trying to spin.


Robert Jaques _vnunet_
US IT job market remains stagnant
"IT employment in the US continues to 'move sideways', according to the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB) [lobbyists for body shop executives].   The organisation reported a slight dip in September when employment of IT workers declined by 3K places (less than 0.1%) from the previous month.   However, NACCB figures reveal that US IT employment has been essentially unchanged for more than a year.   'With few exceptions, my member companies which provide IT staff augmentation [bodyshopping] report brisk demand for their services.', [said NACCB chief executive Mark Roberts]"

Ken Borsuk _Redding Pilot_
Lee Whitnum is in race for congress, but is Shay walking out?
"Ms. Whitnum also pledged to work on illegal immigration.   She said illegal workers in the country weren't paying taxes and that had to change, suggesting a registry so their wages could be taxed like every other worker's.   'If they don't want to sign up and register by a certain date, they need to be rounded up and deported.', Ms. Whitnum said, adding that she would call for an elimination of the H1B Visa, which allows foreign-born people to come to the United States to work and generally impacts technical positions.   'We have plenty of technical people here.   We have a surplus of 245K kids being turned out from American universities who will never find technical work.   I've been a displaced worker.   It's a racket put together by immigration lawyers, recruiting firms and technical companies.   They're screwing the American people.'"

2007-10-10 (5768 Tishrei 29)
Joseph Aaron _Jewish World Review_
Machlokes (Controversy): Feel the power

2007-10-10 (5768 Tishrei 29)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Attacking talk radio
"What has made Rush so effective with this message has been his ability to put things, and ask questions, in a manner that the average citizen can understand and relate to, and do so with a bit of humor.   Humor creates madness among leftists who want their interventionist agenda taken seriously.   Rush's show, as well as many of his competitors' shows, has ended much of the isolation among Americans...   With the growth of talk radio, people found out that they were not alone...   As such, talk radio has been a painful thorn in the sides of those whose agenda is to control the news and debate as a means to control our lives.   This is why the priority agenda for leftists is to attack talk radio, and their biggest target is Rush Limbaugh...   Jesse Macbeth, who became the poster boy for the anti-war and anti-military movement.   Macbeth passed himself off as an Army Ranger and a Purple Heart recipient.   He said he participated in gruesome war crimes with other U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.   An investigation proved that none of his claims was true; he wasn't an Army Ranger or a Purple Heart recipient, and he didn't serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.   In fact, he was kicked out of the Army after 44 days of boot camp.   Last September, Macbeth was sentenced to 5 months in jail and three years' probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record.   Macbeth, idolized by the anti-war movement, is truly a despicable person."

2007-10-10 (5768 Tishrei 28)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Clarence Thomas part 2


2007-10-11 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 297,010 in the week ending Oct. 6, an increase of 41,615 from the previous week.   There were 307,646 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.6% during the week ending Sept. 29, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,117,922, a decrease of 22,845 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.6% and the volume was 2,039,526.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending Sept. 22."

2007-10-11 08:15PDT (11:15EDT) (15:15GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Growth in exports shrank trade deficit to $57.6G in August
"Exports rose 0.4% to a record $138.3G, while imports fell 0.4% to $195.9G."
BEA press release

2007-10-11 09:45PDT (12:45EDT) (16:45GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
Federal government budget deficit fell to $163G due to increasing extortion revenues

Thomas A. Bowden _Bucks county PA Courier Times_/_Ayn Rand Institute_
Columbus Day celebrates western civilization
"Columbus was a man of independent mind, who steadfastly pursued his bold plan for a westward voyage to the Indies despite powerful opposition -- a man of courage, who set sail upon a trackless ocean with no assurance that he would ever reach land -- a man of pride, who sought recognition and reward for his achievements.   We need not evade or excuse Columbus's flaws -- his religious zealotry, his enslavement and oppression of natives -- to recognize that he made history by finding new territory for a civilization that would soon show mankind how to overcome the age-old scourges of slavery, war, and forced religious conversion.   Thus, the deeper meaning of Columbus Day is to celebrate the rational core of Western civilization..."

2007-10-11 (5768 Tishrei 29)
Dr. Debby Schwarz Hirschhorn _Jewish World Review_
Be careful what you say, even to yourself

2007-10-11 (5768 Tishrei 29)
Rabbi Berel Wein _Jewish World Review_
Confusing unity with conformity

2007-10-11 (5768 Tishrei 29)
Cal Thomas _Jewish World Review_
Selling out Israel on the installment plan

2007-10-11 (5768 Tishrei 29)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Until proven innocent
"If all District Attorneys in this country were like Michael Nifong, the United States of America would become the world's largest banana republic.   Such levels of corruption in the law itself would make the American standard of living impossible.   A steady diet of the racial polarization that Nifong promoted would make it only a matter of time before we would see in America the kind of violence seen between Sunnis and Shiites in Baghdad.   The 'rule of law' is not just a pat phrase.   It is the foundation on which everything else is built.   Nor is 'innocent until proven guilty' just a throwaway line.   The opposite notion -- guilty until proven innocent -- is a more poisonous import from the totalitarian world than the toys with lead paint imported from [Red China]...   Could this country survive as a free nation if every District Attorney used the power of that office to intimidate any witness whose testimony undermined the prosecution's case?   How long will we in fact survive as a free nation when our leading universities are annually graduating thousands of students each, steeped in the notion that you can decide issues of right and wrong, guilt or innocence, by the 'race, class and gender' of those involved?"


2007-10-11 19:45PST (2007-10-11 22:45EST) (2007-10-12 03:45GMT)
Steve Alexander _Minneapolis MN Star Tribune_
Control Data gone but not forgotten
"Control Data Corp., the sprawling Fortune 500 computer company that defined the Twin Cities' technology landscape for 3 decades, disappeared 15 years ago [c. 1992] in a wave of industry upheaval that ended the era of the mainframe computer.   But CDC, as it was known, is far from forgotten.   Former employees and management will gather at the Minneapolis Convention Center today for a look back, as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company's founding.   Some may wonder why, in a rapidly changing world, former employees would be wistful about their company's past.   The answer is that Control Data was a company like no other.   By the late 1970s, it had made the Twin Cities 1 of 5 U.S. computer industry centers (a distinction that is now only a memory).   By encouraging entrepreneurship among employees, it spawned dozens of local spinoff companies, including the supercomputer firm Cray Research (also now gone).   At its peak, CDC had [65K] employees and about $5G in revenue.   But at the same time that it was successfully competing with industry giants such as IBM, CDC was pushing the limits of what a for-profit company could do in socially beneficial areas outside its core business, such as employing the poor, educating the public and generating green electrical power.   In charge of it all was CEO Bill Norris, who became a legendary figure.   Norris, who died last year, understood business as well as computer technology, and was willing to try things that hadn't been done before.   He hired Seymour Cray, regarded by some as a genius, to make computers go faster than ever.   (Cray died in 1996.)...   Larry Perlman, the company's last CEO and the architect of its 1990s breakup, agrees that CDC's top management became distracted by early-stage pet projects such as Plato computer-based education and wind farms that generated electricity without pollution -- concepts that were 20 years ahead of their time...   But former CEO Bob Price says the PLATO and wind farm ventures were simply ahead of where society was at the time...   Xiotech Corp. Vice President Robert Peglar, a former mid-level supercomputer manager at CDC, says that the ETA closing was a CDC management blunder.   'There are many ETA veterans who think, as I do, nearly 20 years later, that it was a shame it was closed.   It was a lost opportunity, never to be regained.', Peglar said.   'ETA could have been a major success... but CDC management had other ideas.'..."
another successor to Control Data Corporation
Control Data time-line

Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
Programmers Guild position on IEEE-USA advocating "green cards for all"
The Programmers Guild disagrees with SIA and IEEE-USA any "new visa categories" are needed.   These proposals would crowd American students out of U.S. universities as even getting BS degree would be a virtual guaranteed path to U.S. citizenship:
"Creating a new foreign student visa category to allow [hundreds of thousands of] U.S. STEM bachelor's or higher degree holders who have a job offer to transition directly from student visas to green cards [each year]".
Already many US universites turn away qualified American HS grads from entering their programs.   UC San Diego, for example, is impacted, turning away even American high school students with straight A averages.
Once getting a BS degree becomes a path to U.S. citizenship, schools and subsequently the tech profession will be flooded.
Increasingly Indian consulting firms [bodyshops], such as InfoSys and TATA, are operating in the U.S. and discriminate against Americans who are not of Indian descent, and pay wages 25% below market rate.   This harms not only U.S. workers, but U.S. consulting firms [bodyshops] who can no longer competitively bid on public and private sector contracts.
This proposed legislation would be a green light to these firms to continue hiring foreign nationals over qualified Americans, and would remove the long-standing requirement to first make a [token] effort to recruit Americans (see the Cohen & Grigsby 7th annual seminar video) before employers could sponsor foreigners for green cards.
The Programmers Guild believes that U.S. jobs should only be filled by foreigners when no qualified Americans are available that would take the job -- at any price.   We challenge IEEE-USA to explain why they feel it is necessary to dismantle even the minimal protections provided by PERM recruiting before granting green cards to foreign workers.

The H-1b, L-1, and green card programs need a comprehensive overhall to protect U.S. workers and to limit their usage to only those rare cases when no qualified Americans are available.
In India, rather than having an H-1b program, employers have spent $100M on private training centers that are turning even liberal arts majors into computer programmers, and placing them on U.S. projects, in a matter of months.   Until billionares Gates and Ellison are doing the same, the US goverment should not be subsidizing them with a flood of foreign labor.

2007-10-12 12:42PDT (15:42EDT) (19:42GMT)
John Letzing _MarketWatch_
Oracle executives are over-paid
"The group therefore recommended that Oracle share-holders withhold votes from compensation committee members Jeffrey Berg, Hector Garcia-Molina and Naomi Seligman..."

S&P 5001,561.80
10-year US T-Bond4.69%
crude oil$83.69/barrel
natural gas$6.876/MBTU

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

  "[Re: excises] The amount to be contributed by each citizen will in a degree be at his own option and can be regulated by an attention to his resources.   The rich may be extravagant; the poor can be frugal...   It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess...   If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds." --- Alexander Hamilton  



Today is the 700th anniversary of the round-up of the Knights Templar at the behest of Philip Le Bel of France.
"...all the evidence suggests that [the Scottish leader] granted safe haven not only to local Templars but also to members of the order fleeing persecution in other lands...   It has, furthermore, been cogently argued that a Templar contingent did fight on [Robert the] Bruce's side at Bannockburn [in 1314] -- a suggestion that looks worthy of further research when it is remembered that the victorious Scots marched behind a tiny Ark-shaped reliquary [The Monymusk Reliquary, which may now be seen at the National Museum of Antiquities, Queen Street, Edinburgh.] at that famous battle.   The favour that Bruce showed towards the Templars in Scotland, & the fact that many knights escaped arrest in England (because of a delay in implementing the papal bull there), made it possible for the order to go under-ground in the British Isles -- IOW to survive in a secret & hidden form rather than to be completely destroyed.   For hundreds of years it has been rumoured that this secret survival took the form of Freemasonry -- a view supported by a specific Masonic tradition that the oldest Scottish lodge (Kilwinning) was founded by King Robert the Bruce after the battle of Bannockburn 'for the reception of those Knights Templar who had fled from France'.   In the 18th century Andrew Ramsay, a prominent Scots Mason & historian, added credibility to this tradition with a considerable body of work on the connections between Freemasonry & the Templars.   And at around the same time Baron Carl von Hund, a leading German Mason, declared that 'Freemasonry originated in Knight Templary, & that, in consequence, every Mason is a Templar...   Nor, as I have already noted, was Scotland the only country in which the Templars were left unscathed.   In Portugal they were tried but found to be free of guilt, & thus neither tortured nor imprisoned...   Just 6 years later [1318], they were reborn under a new name: the Militia of Jesus Christ (also known as the Knights of Christ or, more simple, as the Order of Christ).   This transformation of one order into another enabled the Portuguese Templars not only to survive the fires of the Inquisition during the years 1307 to 1314 but also to emerge phoenix-like from the ashes in 1318 -- after which date they seem to have carried on with business very much as usual.   All Templar properties & funds in Portugal were transferred intact to the Order of Christ, as were all personnel.   Moreover, on 1319 March 14, the newly formed entity received the approval & confirmation of Pope John 22 (Clement meanwhile having died)." --- Graham Hancock 1992 _The Sign & the Seal_ pp 165-167 (citing John J. Robinson 1989, 1990 _Born in Blood_ pp 137, 138, 150-151, 153; Malcolm Barber _The Trial of the Templars_ pp 193-220; O.A. Haye 1865 _The Persecution of the Knights Templars_ pg 114; David Keys 1989-07-29 _The Independent_ pg 38; 1978 _Robert the Bruce_ pg 15; Alexander Horne 1972 _King Solomon's Temple in Masonic Tradition_ pg 25; Kenneth MacKenzie 1877, 1987 _The Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia_ pp 84, 325, 420-421, 593-594, 719-722; Hyginus Eugene Cardinale 1985 _Orders of Knighthood, Awards & the Holy See_ pp 27, 207-208)

_No Slaves_
Traitors in our midst: The IEEE-USA teams with lobbyists of executives in business and academe


New economic approach is needed
"Since the turn of the century, however, real median household income levels have plunged, dropping an average of 1.5% a year in the county and by 2.6% annually in Fort Collins.   That income decline has sliced the population growth rate nearly in half, to 1.6% a year, the slowest growth rate the county has seen in half a century.   The impact of plunging incomes on our community has been stunning, particularly on quality of life.   The number of Fort Collins children living in poverty has more than doubled in 6 years.   Thousands of people in the county are under-employed, working at jobs far below their skill levels and the pay those skills should demand."

David Noer _Greensboro News & Record_
Round and round we go: City spending $1M on a carousel
"The last horse we see coming around has many riders, all industrialists reaching upward, hoping to grasp the golden ring of economic incentives.   The money attached to the ring is constantly changing.   At one moment it is a tantalizingly fat wad, but as soon as someone reaches for it, it is substantially reduced, replaced by a note requesting more information, or it disappears entirely.   We don't have our act together at the state, county or city levels regarding a consistent strategy for economic incentives to attract business and create jobs.   RF Micro Devices, a high-tech firm that has grown to nearly 2K employees and was the county's fifth largest [tax-victim] last year, was turned down by the Guilford county commissioners in a request for $1.03M for a new micro-chip plant that would create 300 jobs.   In contrast, at the state level after much political maneuvering, Goodyear operations in Wilson County were awarded up to $60M and were allowed to reduce the work force by up to 20%.   It's our money, folks, and we badly need a strategy that is clear and does not vary depending on political machinations or the beliefs of individual representatives.   If not, each time that horse comes around, the ground rules will change and some undeserving riders may win the prize while others with merit may mount horses in other states."

Gene Zaleski _Orangeburg Times & Democrat_
27K in Orangeburg county are under-employed
"Robinson said job migration statistics reveal that between 6K to 7K Orangeburg county residents drive elsewhere each day for work.   Of the 41K employees in the county, about 27K are considered under-employed."

Steve Sailer _V Dare_
A Farewell to Alms part 2

Tom Buchanan _Barre Times & Montpelier Argus_
Visa exemption lowers wages for Americans
Rutland Herald
"Prior to 2005 employers had access to 66K H-2b visas each federal fiscal year.   Employers have long used those visas to hire foreign workers to keep local wages depressed, a process that directly harms working Vermonters.   Many of the jobs filled by H-2b workers offer wages at half of the Basic Needs Budget, as calculated by the Joint Fiscal Office of the Vermont Legislature, and leave the struggling workers impoverished.   This creates a significant burden on host communities, the state of Vermont and our nation.   The original national limit of 66K visas was initially sufficient to meet the entire demand of all employers, but companies quickly learned that a vast pool of foreign workers would preclude the need to offer Americans competitive wages.   We reached the point where employers made such heavy use of H-2b visas in the beginning of the federal fiscal year that all 66K visas were distributed to winter employers very early in the process, and there were no H-2b visas left for summer seasonal employment.   In 2005 Congress adjusted the process to split the existing 66K visas into two groups, with half of those visas available for the first half of the fiscal year, and the rest available in the second half of the year.   Congress did not intend to increase the total number of visas, but rather worked to make visas available to all employers on an equitable basis.   Unfortunately, the immediate effect of the legislation would have been to cut the number of visas available to winter employers in half, at the very moment these companies were filling their winter jobs.   While Congress did not wish to increase the total number of available visas, nor did they intend to create an immediate and undue burden on winter employers.   Thus, Congress granted a temporary exemption that would allow returning foreign workers to be hired without counting against the cap of 66K.   That exemption was only issued on a temporary basis to allow winter employers time to adjust their hiring practices.   The employers were well aware that they needed to begin seeking more workers from the United States, and not rely on the continuing availability of the exemption, and a growing number of H-2b visas.   Employers have had ample opportunity to find additional workers in the United States, but have made no effort to do so.   Many of these employers, including winter resorts, have chosen to avoid hiring American workers from regions of high un-employment or high under-employment, and have instead sought ever escalating numbers of foreign workers from South America, Central America, Europe, and elsewhere.   It is time for the federal government to stop subsidizing employers in the low-wage service sector, and to instead insist that these companies actively recruit within the United States, and offer competitive wages that will not leave service sector workers mired in poverty.   Extending the H-2b exemption will add more foreign workers, and serve to further depress wages paid to American workers.   The exemption should be allowed to expire as originally intended, and employers should be required to compete for workers by lifting pay rates, and recruiting more broadly within this country."


2007-10-15 07:17PST (10:27EST) (15:27GMT)
Maureen Martino _Fierce BioTech_
Top 5 lay-offs of 2007
"Pfizer - 10K jobs.   AstraZeneca - 7,600 jobs.   Bayer - 6,100 jobs."

2007-10-15 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 03)
Malky Feig _Jewish World Review_
Relatively Speaking

Programmers Guild sent a petition/ letter to congress asking that green cards and H-1B visas not be increased.

Moira Herbst _Business Week_
US Tech Workers Fight Back

crude oil$86.13/barrel
natural gas$7.445/MBTU

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


Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Cohen & Grigsby replied to congressional query
Recall that over the summer some critics of H-1B stumbled upon a set of videos placed on YouTube by a prominent immigration law firm.   The videos form a guide for employers on how to use loop-holes in the law to
(a) avoid hiring American workers when the employers wish to sponsor a foreign worker for a green card and
(b) pay foreign workers less than Americans.   The videos weren't shocking to those of us who have been saying for years that the loop-holes (NOT lack of enforcement) are the real problem with H-1B and employer-sponsored green cards, but for those in Congress and the press who've been misled by industry lobbyists for years, the videos were a real eye opener.
Senator Grassley and representative Smith sent a letter to the law firm, demanding an explanation.   But the true explanation is that
(a) the law is full of huge loop-holes, which made the firm's actions fully legal, and
(b) those loop-holes were deliberately put in there by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).   When the law firm's head, Jack Elliott, says,
"We are well aware that many persons who understand the labor certification process find it unfair to American applicants who are led to believe that an advertised job posting represents an open position that an employer wishes to fill immediately.", Elliott added. "However, the appropriate response, we respectfully suggest, is not to challenge those who attempt to live by the rules, but to change the rules."

he is recognizing (a) but hiding (b).   Elliott's suggestion that the critics "merely" have to "change to the rules", is absurd, given that he and his friends made those rules and have used their huge clout to prevent any change to them.   This is the height of cynical, manipulative and deceptive behavior.   And so is this:
In the case of green card applicants, Elliott argued that many of the foreign nationals seeking permanent residency status in the U.S. have been on the job for several years.   And by the time an employer decides to apply for a PERM certification, he wrote, "the company normally has decided that the foreign national employee is of critical importance to the company".
According to Elliott, the DoL's advertising requirement compels companies to place help wanted ads for "positions already occupied by a foreign worker whom the employer is not seeking to replace".   The PERM process wasn't developed by the DoL "to find jobs for U.S. workers", he continued.   "Rather, it is one step in determining whether a foreign national employee of a U.S. employer... should be able to obtain permanent resident status in the United States."

These are outrageous statements.   Did Elliott really mean to say that DoL went through its very long process of developing the PERM system just for the purpose of maintaining a charade?   [Yes.]   And again, Elliott hid a key point from Grassley and Smith:   the reason that that foreign worker is in the job in the first place is that the H-1B program has no requirement that the employer recruit U.S. workers, and that the AILA has always successfully fought any attempt to impose one.   The only such requirement is in the green card process, and basically Elliott and the AILA (see the PittsburghYouTube.txt posting linked to above) are saying that it shouldn't be there either.   They don't want employers to be required to recruit Americans at ANY stage.   They like the present charade just fine as it is.
Hiring video's aftermath

Kevin Carter _V Dare_
V Dare's Minutemen Map

_New Jersey Business & Industry Association_
Cross-Border Body Shop Apex Technology Group, Inc. of Edison Wins NJBIA Award for Excellence for Creating Many New High-Quality Jobs in NJ
"When Apex Technology Group first got into the Information Technology services industry, generating immediate sales was not the primary goal...   In 2005, Apex added 43 new jobs.   In 2006, it added another 60, bringing total New Jersey employment to more than 100 in just 2 years.   The company's future is just as bright as it anticipates adding another 200 jobs in 2007, which would bring its worldwide work-force to more than 300."

2007-10-16 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 04)
Colleen Mastony _Jewish World Review_
Kosher fish tale

2007-10-16 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 04)
Wesley Pruden _Jewish World Review_
To process peace

2007-10-16 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 04)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Sabotage in war-time


Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1771
Great Tech Worker Divide
Businessweek did an article on H-1B that at first glance may seem objective.   It starts out sounding OK, but wastes no time at stabbing us in the back.   Notice how the term "radical" is used to describe any suggestion that H-1B should be limited.   Here are just some of the ideas termed to be "radical":
1) Not allowing companies [that] out-source to get H-1B visas.
2) Abolishing H-1B altogether but allowing foreign workers to come here in unlimited numbers with green cards.
3) Limiting visas in professions where it can be proved that no shortage exists.   I hope your head spinned on this one, because if it didn't you ain't payin' attention!
Just in case you didn't notice, one of them truly is radical: item #2.   That's the one IEEE-USA has been pushing since the year 2000 -- the notion that we should limit or abolish H-1B and then let unlimited numbers of foreigners into the U.S. on Green Cards.
Folks -- H-1B visas and employment based green cards are radical notions!   No other nation in the world but stupid ones like Canada would allow their citizens to be replaced by foreigners. Not even India allows it!
Somehow the concept that being a citizen of the USA should have some value, or that the American middle class should have some form of basic economic security has been characterized as a subversive thought pattern.
Even the president of the corrupt IEEE-USA has the audacity to publicly say that unlimited instant green cards will be good for us.   George Orwell would blush if he could read this!
John Meredith, president of IEEE-USA, says that allowing more over-seas workers will actually keep wages higher in the U.S.A., unlike the H-1B visa program, which keeps workers tethered to employers in one position.
The article gets worse!
M$ is viewed as a paragon of virtue because they are so rich they don't need to lie, cheat, and steal.   M$, according to the author, would never stoop to replacing expensive American workers just to save a few thousand bucks or to hire the next YOUNG geek computer whiz.   Notice the emphasis on YOUNG, because although it's not said explicitly it sure is implicitly.   We all know that "hotshot techies" are newspeak for young geeks that work 20 hour days for nothing more than a couple slices of pizza.
The company has one of the largest stashes of cash in the world and gushes profits every quarter.   Saving a few thousand dollars in salary is much less important than finding the next hot-shot techie who can help dream up a new billion-dollar business.
Most of the rest of the article gives credibility to M$'s claims that there are vast shortages of technical manpower.   Ron Hira's rational statement that there wouldn't be shortages if employers were willing to pay people what they are worth somehow gets lost in the shuffle.
- 30 -

Diane Alden _News Max_
Americans Excel in Education
"No less than a recent U.N. report maintains that the average U.S. worker produces $63,885 of wealth per year, more than their counterparts in all other countries, the International Labor Organization said in its report.   Ireland comes in second at $55,986, followed by Luxembourg at $55,641, Belgium at $55,235, and France at $54,609...   A fact the elite do not want to tell you is that low scores for American students are either in urban minority groups or recent immigrants from Third World countries.   The truth is many nations do not count any student but the top tier.   We count them all, thus, bringing down the average score compared to other nations.   In 2005, the Chronicle of Higher Education raised the point that America's brightest students in fact do measure up to their Indian or Chinese counterparts in technical and scientific endeavors...   America's sharp students will go into sciences, math, and engineering if they are rewarded on a comparable level to a corporate lawyer conducting seminars for big business.   You know, the kind of conference where business is advised the best way to increase the number of visas for foreign workers rather than hiring American worker: It's all legal.   Entire departments in major law firms are showing big business how to get around the law or rather the spirit of the law and increase their visa quota for foreign workers...   A recent article in Nature reports the latest National Science Foundation survey, the number of American students enrolling in grad school for science and engineering is higher than ever."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
deja vu all over again part 1
The world of H-1B politics is one of David and Goliath.   "Goliath" here is the industry and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), with their huge clout stemming from campaign donations to politicians, and their hiring "the best and the brightest" slick, deceptive PR people in the world.   "David" is programmers and engineers who lack money and time to spend, who sometimes are not completely informed about details, and who often are betrayed by organizations that putatively represent them.
One key to Goliath's success is lack of continuity and memory.   Anti-H-1B activists come and go; congressional staffers (if not the politicians) come and go; journalists come and go.   So, for those of us who've been around for a while, we see a continuing succession of "news" which is old.
I'm [linking] 2 articles here from BusinessWeek -- first one from this month, and then one from 1998.   The [one from 1998] could easily have been written today.
The [article] dated October 10, is very long and of generally very good quality, but it can be boiled down to one point which I've tried to make repeatedly over the years:
THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET REGARDING H-1B IS THAT IT IS FUNDAMENTALLY ABOUT AGE.   Younger workers are cheaper than older ones, and H-1B then gives the employers access to a large pool of young workers.
That is the CORE of the H-1B issue.   Yes, younger H-1Bs cost even less than younger Americans, but that's just icing on the cake.
That's what's really going on with Rennie Sawade...   M$ would probably say that they didn't hire him because his quality is not up to their standards.   The article here implies that Sawade's problem is that he doesn't have specific skill sets of value to M$.   But those arguments just don't hold water, because M$ has hired Sawade for contract work.   Instead, his real problem, in M$'s eyes, is that he is 44 years old.   Actually, many people even in their mid-30s start finding barriers to employment in this field.
Please note that I'm not faulting the journalist here.   Overall she's done a very good job.   And BusinessWeek itself deserves praise, for the many excellent articles it's run on this and related topics over the years.   But it would be nice if there were some memory in the system.
A number of us were pointing out the central nature of the age issue back in 1998.   As a result, the bill passed by Congress that year to increase the H-1B cap directed that a study be done on the question, Do older programmers and engineers have trouble finding work in their field?   The study was done, and even though the study was heavily biased in favor of the industry (the commission included reps from Intel, M$ etc.), THE ANSWER WAS YES.   It was spun in a manner which protected industry, but the answer was YES, older programmers and engineers have trouble finding work in their field.
Since that time other studies have elaborated on this central point, and have connected it to the H-1B issue.   In my case, I analyzed this in detail in my 2003 article in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform (pdf) and last year in an article written at the invitation of a branch of the California State Bar (pdf).
[Another recent BusinessWeek article] unfortunately buys into the standard arguments that industry lobbyists have used so [effectively] over the years but which have [been] shown to be invalid.   To cite just one example, the unemployment rate is NOT a good way to tell whether there is a shortage of programmers or engineers, for the simple reason that those workers leave the field when they can't find work; one does have to pay the mortgage or rent, after all.   So, as Gene Nelson put it so well, the former programmer who is now working as a security guard counts in the government data as an employed security guard, not an unemployed programmer.   (For a more scientific statement of the same point, see Carol Veneri "Can Occupational Labor Shortages Be Identified Using Available Data?" _Monthly Labor Review_ Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1999 March.)
Pass it on: H-1B is about age.
Is there really a techie shortage?
US Tech Workers Fight Back
- 30 -

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
deja vu all over again part 2
Continuing the point in my last post about the lack of memory in the H-1B debate (except for the industry lobbyists, who remember only too well), the two articles below report on a letter recently sent to Congress jointly by the Semiconductor Industry Association and IEEE-USA.   The articles, and some of the critics of H-1B quoted therein, make it sound like IEEE-USA had suddenly "gone over to the dark side", by siding with the SIA's call for fast-track green cards for foreign students.   But the fact is that IEEE-USA has held this position since 2000!   [Quite so.   They floated the general proposition quite a while back.   It's just that they went over the line in the extremity of the proposal this time.   Camel's back.   Last straw.   Etc.]   It's a position that I strongly disagree with (more on this below), but there is nothing new here.
IEEE-USA is the U.S. branch of IEEE.   Contrary to the statement in the first article below that the IEEE-USA has usually "stayed out of the crossfire" on H-1B, actually during the 1990s IEEE-USA vigorously opposed the H-1B program.   But the IEEE parent organization started to object in the late 1990s, when H-1B became very controversial.   IEEE said that its objection was based on its being an international organization, so that it should not be "anti-immigration".   The real reason, though, was that IEEE was dominated by industry and academic people who had vested interests in the H-1B program.   In any case, it put heavy pressure on IEEE-USA to greatly soften its anti-H-1B stance.
And that's exactly what IEEE-USA did, in 2000.   The center-piece of its actions in that regard was to propose a fast-track green card program.   Their new motto was "green cards, not H-1B." The organization has continuously pushed for such a program ever since then.   IEEE-USA gets quoted a lot in the press regarding H-1B, and in most of their statements to the press since 2000 they've made their "green cards, not H-1B" pitch.   And when Congress actually did propose such a program last year, IEEE-USA of course endorsed it.   Thus the Programmers Guild should not have been shocked at all by the joint letter by SIA and IEEE-USA, which basically just endorsed those bills again.
In theory, "green cards, not H-1B" idea would seem to have some merit.   The problem with H-1B is that the workers are usually de facto indentured servants, thus exploitable; giving them green cards would solve that problem.   But it would not solve the BASIC problem.
As I've said so often, including in my post sent just before this one, the dirty little secret about H-1B involves AGE.   The employers save a lot of money by hiring young workers instead of old ones.   They save even more by hiring young H-1Bs instead of young Americans, but the most important thing to them is having a large pool of young workers.   And THAT is why the proposals to give fast-track green cards to foreign students is basically just as harmful as H-1B; the proposals in Congress would make these special green cards available only to new graduates, and of course the vast majority of those are young.   In other words, these proposals would still flood the job market with large numbers of young workers, just like H-1B is doing now.
I can sympathize with IEEE-USA's predicament -- IEEE has threatened to disband them -- and I greatly appreciate the good work they did in the 1990s on this issue.   But as the Guild points out in the articles below, IEEE-USA has not polled its members on this issue, and thus is falsely representing them.   The fact is that IEEE-USA is greatly undermining the work of the Programmers Guild, by sending mixed signals to Congress.
In one of the more egregious cases, a former IEEE-USA official who still holds the "green cards, not H-1B" view-point, dismissed the infamous "TubeGate" videos (in which a prominent immigration law firm was teaching employers how to exploit loopholes involving the hiring of foreign workers) as irrelevant, supposedly because the videos involved green cards and not H-1B.   This statement was factually incorrect, because some of the videos in the set did discuss H-1B, but my point here was that IEEE-USA is so wedded to this "green cards, not H-1B" stance that it publicly dismissed the best public relations advantage the anti-H-1B movement has ever had.
I've mentioned IEEE-USA's "green cards, not H-1B" policy here in my e-newsletter repeatedly, and have written a CIS article criticizing it.   IEEE-USA (several of whose top officials subscribe to this e-newsletter) knows my objections, and we simply must "agree to disagree," which is fine.   But the fact that many critics of H-1B (many individuals, in addition to the PG) were shocked by the joint SIA/IEEE-USA letter illustrates again the point I made in my last posting here, that "anti-H-1B activists come and go", thus creating a system with no memory.
One of the most detailed postings I've made on the IEEE-USA issue is archived.   [I want to] make sure everyone understands the history here.
BTW, one point brought up by the Programmers Guild is that the SIA/IEEE-USA letter says that even foreign students with just a bachelor's degree should be covered by the fast-track program.   This is a deviation from the proposed legislation, which requires at least a master's.   It seems to me that that reference to bachelor's degrees was an error, as the letter states how important advanced degrees are.   (As I've explained before, I disagree with the notion that giving visas is OK if the foreign worker has an advanced degrees, but that is not the point here.)   I did send e-mail to an IEEE-USA official on Sunday to ask about this, but have not received a response.   Maybe the delay is due to IEEE-USA and SIA conferring on this point.
In my posting the other day about the good deeds and misdeeds of IEEE-USA over the years, there was one point left hanging:
BTW, one point brought up by the Programmers Guild is that the SIA/IEEE-USA letter says that even foreign students with just a bachelor's degree should be covered by the fast-track program.   This is a deviation from the proposed legislation, which requires at least a master's.   It seems to me that that reference to bachelor's degrees was an error, as the letter states how important advanced degrees are.   (As I've explained before, I disagree with the notion that giving visas is OK if the foreign worker has an advanced degree, but that is not the point here.)   I did send e-mail to an IEEE-USA official on Sunday to ask about this, but have not received a response.   Maybe the delay is due to IEEE-USA and SIA conferring on this point.

Today, though, I did get a response from the official, Chris McManes.   He has given me permission to post his message here:
My apologies for the late reply...
The letter is correct in saying "bachelor's" degrees.   It was part of a compromise we reached with SIA.

So, mystery solved.   Unfortunately, it only under-scores the problems I discussed.
- 30 -

Dino Perrotti _Computer World_
IEEE betrays American engineers and its members -- H-1B, EB, F-4 visas

2007-10-17 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 05)
Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg _Jewish World Review_
Hundreds of Millions to rebuild jihad training grounds!?

2007-10-17 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 05)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Academic cess-pool

2007-10-17 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 05)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Crime and Rhetoric
"Having declined for decades on end, the murder rate suddenly doubled between 1961 and 1974.   The rate at which citizens became victims of violent crimes in general tripled."

2007-10-17 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 05)
Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg _Jewish World Review_
When I Went to School


2007-10-18 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 305,170 in the week ending Oct. 13, an increase of 6,892 from the previous week.   There were 271,863 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.6% during the week ending Oct. 6, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,105,344, a decrease of 7,658 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.6% and the volume was 2,030,299.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending Sept. 29."

Electronics engineers speak out on engineering education, H1-B visas, out-sourcing

Thomas D. Elias _Highland Community News_
Will H1-B immigration debacle be fixed?
Palo Alto Daily News
Sierra Sun
"It's an open question now whether the egregious abuse of H-1B immigration visas by large corporations will ever be fixed.   That's because a small organization dedicated to helping American workers get jobs for which American companies are now importing foreign immigrants has uncovered a 2006 document demonstrating that letting foreigners take jobs Americans could fill is in fact the policy of the Bush Administration.   States the U.S. Department of Labor's Strategic Plan for the fiscal years 2006 to 2011, '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.'   The Federal Register adds that 'the statute does not require employers to demonstrate that there are no available U.S. workers or to test the labor market for U.S. workers as required under the permanent labor certification program'...   Silicon Valley stalwarts bring in thousands of skilled foreign workers each year not because they can't find American workers to fill their jobs, but because they can pay the immigrants less...   the vast bulk of applications came from workers with bachelor's degrees or less.   These are not high-level researchers and software engineers, as they are often billed.   They may be laboratory technicians or other skilled laborers, but there is no demonstrated shortage of Americans workers for those jobs...   Rather, it is 2 liberal Democratic politicians, Illinois senator Dick Durbin and New Jersey representative Bill Pascrell, who are carrying similar bills to wipe out the Labor Department language that now subverts the plain intent of the H-1B visas.   For now, companies that discriminate against American citizens when hiring are legally protected by the Bush administration, which kept its disgraceful and possibly illegal rules quiet until Conroy discovered them.   Only if the Durbin-Pascrell legislation passes will citizens and legal immigrants have an opportunity to compete for the top dollar, white collar jobs at stake here.   And even if their bills should succeed in Congress, they would still need the signature of President Bush to end illegal discrimination against Americans and green card holders.   Of course, if Bush wants to fix the problem, he need not wait for Congress to act.   All he'd have to do is pick up his telephone and order his labor secretary to change the rules back to what they are supposed to be."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/L-1/offshoring e-newsletter
critique of Tom Elias's column

Since I am cc-ing Mr. Elias on this posting, let me state at the outset what you readers of this e-news-letter already know to be my stance:   The H-1B program is a sham, very widely used to obtain cheap labor (though via loop-holes, in full compliance with the law).   It is badly in need of reform.
But unfortunately, Elias' description of it in this article enclosed below is extremely inaccurate [an exaggeration, IMO...jgo].   I was originally not planning to review his column, but I am hearing about it from enough readers that I do need to comment.   (It turns out that he also wrote about H-1B in a July 7 column, which was, alas, equally inaccurate.)
That DoL document that Elias thinks is a "smoking gun" is merely an explanation of the law -- not a change in the law or regulations. [He did not claim that it was a change...jgo]   Other than a miniscule exception category, the H-1B program has never required employers to recruit Americans before hiring foreign workers.   [Labor Secretary Elaine Chao's] report is merely explaining the structure of the law, as it has existed since its inception in 1990.
Note that the employer-sponsored green card program does require recruitment of American workers.   Sadly, that requirement is riddled with loop-holes, as shown so vividly in the infamous "TubeGate" [Cohen & Grigsby 7th annual immigration law seminar] video, but in any case it is irrelevant to Elias' topic, H-1B.
Elias says,

What happened early this year provides good evidence of who is really coming in on H-1Bs.   It is not principally Ph.D.'s and other highly educated persons.   Rather, it is primarily factory workers, low-level draftsmen and the like.
The evidence is clear: Out of 132K applications received on the first day they were accepted for the 2007 quota of 65K visas, just 12,989 were from applicants with master's degrees or higher.   That meant the vast bulk of applications came from workers with bachelor's degrees or less.   These are not high-level researchers and software engineers, as they are often billed.   They may be laboratory technicians or other

Concerning his point about master's degrees, his statement may or may not be correct (he is certainly incorrect in not stating that there is a separate exemption category for those with a master's degree or higher, providing 20K additional visas beyond the 65K base), but it is irrelevant anyway.   The H-1B program is definitely abused at the advanced degree level, just like it is for workers with bachelor's degrees.
And contrary to Elias' statement, the H-1B visa is indeed often used to hire software engineers.   In fact, this title probably comprises the plurality (though certainly not the majority) of H-1Bs.   And no, it is not used to hire factory workers; the job must require a bachelor's degree or equivalent [though hundreds have been approved for those without the equivalen tof a US high school diploma].
Elias also says that "companies that discriminate against American citizens when hiring [H-1Bs] are legally protected by the Bush administration".   Again, the reference to the Bush administration here is incorrect, as I explained above; the lack of a recruitment requirement is the law, not administration policy.   But my point here concerns the word "discriminate".   Since Elias' source for this column is Donna Conroy, who uses the word in a special -- and incorrect -- manner, I need to address it.
Ms. Conroy created Bright Future (www.brightfuturejobs.org), an organization that to my knowledge consists only of herself.   There's nothing wrong with that -- it's a common political phenomenon, and Conroy must be commended for the publicity she has drawn to this badly abused program.   But she is gravely wrong in her characterization of it, claiming that the law allows employers to bar Americans from applying for these jobs.   That is simply false.   Legally, anyone can apply for any job, and there is nothing in H-1B law or regulations that says otherwise.   Granted, in most cases Americans won't be hired, but to say the law allows employers to bar Americans from even applying is just incorrect and absurd.
Elias is correct that "Large U.S. companies, including Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and other Silicon Valley stalwarts, bring in thousands of skilled foreign workers each year not because they can't find American workers to fill their jobs, but because they can pay the immigrants less."   As I mentioned, this is due to huge gaping loop-holes in the law.
Elias comments,

Interestingly, no one has heard Colorado's Republican representative Tom Tancredo, now running for president on a jingoistic anti-immigrant platform, complain about the government-backed misuse of H-1Bs.   Nor have any of the other groups now trying loudly to tighten up both the Mexican and Canadian borders.
Rather, it is 2 liberal Democratic politicians, Illinois senator Dick Durbin and New Jersey representative Bill Pascrell, who are carrying similar bills to wipe out the Labor Department language that now subverts the plain intent of the H-1B visas.

Ha!   If Elias thinks this is all due to the Big Bad Republicans (here I must insert the disclaimer that I am a long-time liberal Democrat), he needs to take another look.   Support of H-1B is thoroughly, and outrageously, bipartisan.   The program was created by a Republican president with a Democratic Congress, then expanded twice by a Democratic president with a Republican Congress.   Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, John Edwards and other major Democratic candidates for president have all stated that H-1B needs to be expanded, and none is willing to admit that it is a badly abused program which is pushed by major corporate donors to the candidates' campaign and party funds.   My own senators, Boxer and Feinstein, have been bombarded with complaints about H-1B, yet refuse to recognize the problem, and continue to support the program.
And though Elias is also correct that bills by Durbin (with equal participation from Republican Grassley, whom Elias somehow "over-looked") and Pascrell would do a good job in reforming H-1B, NONE of those Democratic senators above have signed on as a cosponsor.
Elias is completely wrong in his claim about Tancredo and the immigration reform organizations.   Tancredo has both spoken out against H-1B and introduced legislation to fix it.   FAIR, NumbersUSA etc. have also been quite active on the H-1B issue...
It's depressing to see a journalist with such a wide audience write such a sloppy, misleading column [which is still better than 95% of other media coverage of the subject...jgo].


Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
WSJ missed the fraud behind illegal alien mortgage boom

Richard Lawrence Poe _News Max_
Hillary Ensnared
"To be more precise, Bloggergate is the subsidizing of left-wing bloggers with illegal Democrat campaign contributions, laundered through ostensibly 'non-partisan' non-profit groups.   At a convention of left-wing bloggers last summer, Hillary Clinton announced, 'We are... putting together a network in the blogosphere.'"
video 1
video 2

2007-10-18 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 06)
Jonathan Tobin _Jewish World Review_
My son, the Navy Captain


Thomas Brewton _View from 1776_
The left-wing, so-called main-stream media are caught with their agenda showing
"Major liberal propaganda organs presented a false report of a speech by General Ricardo Sanchez, the former military commander in Iraq.   By isolating one part of the General's plaint, for purely partisan political reasons, the press illustrated General Sanchez's indictment of their coverage of the Iraq war.   The press's version of the speech is the equivalent of describing the day-night cycle while omitting the sunrise."

2007-10-19 03:00PDT (06:00EDT) (10:00GMT)
Brian Boyd _Standard-Times_/_South Coast Today_
Career day draws hundreds of job seekers
"The employers were trying to fill a combined 265 positions and held 1,102 interviews; some job seekers had more than one interview, said Bill Edward, the center's business services manager.   The career center helps people who are unemployed or underemployed, and many participants in Thursday's event had previously received training from the center, said Brenda Francis, the center's director.   The prospective employees came well prepared with their resumes and dressed appropriately for interviews, heeding lessons learned at the center, Ms. Francis said...   The line for Meditech stretched to the door.   The health care software company is opening a new facility in Fall River in March and is recruiting in the region."

2007-10-19 10:51PDT (13:51EDT) (17:51GMT)
Gay Brownlee _Lancaster Farming_
Virginia documentary reveals complex illegal alien situation
"Finnegan said that over the course of one year spent researching and producing the documentary -- a topic about which he had no previous experience -- the compelling interviews he conducted included several [illegal aliens]...   His sources include a cultural anthropologist from James Madison University, a representative of the Virginia Chapter of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, Americans for Immigration Control, a Virginia state delegate, the superintendent of the Harrisonburg Public Schools, and others.   He interviewed experts about the effects of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) and high birth rates in Latin America.   'NAFTA is bad for the U.S and bad for Mexico.', Finnegan said.   'Corn farmers in Mexico are not subsidized like here.   They can't compete.   It's fueled the fire of illegal migration.   People don't realize how many apples are imported from [Red China].   The Chinese are competing with Mexicans for the lowest labor.', Finnegan said that with laws threatening producers who hire undocumented workers, those workers have to be let go and industries -- in the poultry sector, for instance -- are recruiting workers from Puerto Rico [anything to avoid hiring citizens in the 50 states]."

Jnathan Shaw & Kim Berry _Harvard_/_Programmers Guild_
Debtor Nation

Williaim Pesek _Bloomberg_
Maseratis show that Asia is 60 to 100 years behind the USA
"Asia is the latest frontier for capitalism, and multi-national companies are depending on its growing cities, swelling populations and emerging middle-class consumer sectors to pump up profits.   Investors are making similar assumptions.   As central banks such as the Federal Reserve add liquidity to economies, much of it is flowing to Asia...   Of developing Asia's 1.7G-person labor force, Ali says, at least 500M are un-employed or under-employed (those working less than they would like to).   Another 250M will enter the work-force over the next decade."

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
The Bad, Worse, and Worst Are Going, Going and Gone!
"Some bad cats who oppose true immigration reform are -- at last! -- retiring from the U.S. Senate.   Other incumbents, many dragged down by their pro-illegal alien stances, face a steep uphill climb in their 2008 re-election efforts."

Michelle Kessler _USA Today_ pg B1
What's up at Google?
"There are signs that Google is up to something.   The company hired 2,130 employees during the quarter, for a total work-force of 15,916.   (Rival Yahoo! has about 13,600 employees.)   Google CEO Eric Schmidt said many hires were recent college graduates who received job offers earlier in the year.   Others came from acquisitions.   Still, many analysts were surprised because a staffing glut in the previous quarter caused Google to miss earnings estimates.   'They're continuing to hire like drunken sailors.', Says equity analyst Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray.   'They have a bigger plan in play.'"

John Ribeiro _PC World_/_IDG_
Wipro revenues up, to hire 200 for Atlanta, GA office
"Wipro Ltd., India's third largest [bodyshopper]...   The company reported revenue of 47.28G Indian rupees (US$1.19G at the exchange rate on closing day of the quarter), up by 35% for the same quarter last year.   Its profits at 8.1G rupees were up 17% from profits in the same period last year...   The company is also expanding its presence in the U.S. by setting up its first development center in the country for delivery of services on-shore to its customers in the U.S.A.   Wipro expects to fill 200 positions at this center in Atlanta, GA in the first year.   A near-shore center in Monterrey, Mexico was also set up during the quarter.   Wipro has both a domestic and export business.   Exports for the quarter, consisting of IT and BPO services, were 32.4G rupees, up by 19% over exports in the same quarter last year."
Wipro median salaries by city

S&P 5001,500.63
10-year US T-Bond4.40%
crude oil$88.60/barrel
natural gas$7.073/MBTU

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

  "The Great Society came into our communities and set up alternative structures that destroyed those that were there.   Government agencies undermined the very strengths that should have been built up...   No government can give motivation or a sense of self-worth to a child.   It's up to parents and church leaders to say, 'Son, your problem isn't society; your problem is you.'." --- Reverend Buster Soaries, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, Somerset, New Jersey, 1991 August 08  



Howard Weiss-Tisman _Brattleboro Reformer_
Number of needy has been increasing
"Ten years ago, he would see more homeless and people who were destitute.   Now he is meeting with families who have someone working, but who still can't pay the monthly bills.   'Rents are all out of proportion in this area.', he said.   'Some of these people are paying 50% or more of their income on housing.   I don't see how these people do it.'   People also do not see the need, he said.   People are busier these days and as they are caught up in their daily lives it is often easy to forget about the people who are barely surviving on the margins of society.   'People don't recognize that this happening in our community.   They don't understand that people are underemployed.   If you want to see the homeless, I will show where they are living.   It does happen right in our back-yard.', he said."


2007-10-20 21:52PDT (2007-10-21 00:52EDT) (2007-10-21 04:52GMT)
Ameerah Cetawayo _Bowling Green Daily News_
Faith in action at food drop
"Whitlock said that although he only had one truck trailer of food -- enough to feed 400 families locally -- he estimated he'd need 10 times that much to really address the community's hunger problem.   'People are working, working everyday, but they're under-employed.   There's a need.', Whitlock said."

Henry Lamb _American Daily_
Why Congress is in the dump
News Max
Lake Expo
Philadelphia Inquirer
"There is a reason why '89% of the people disapprove' of the job the U.S. Congress is doing.   What Congress is doing, mostly, is jockeying for political advantage...   This political game-playing is idiotic, and the American people see through it, and consequently, the approval ratings of Congress have plummeted to all-time low 11%, well below the approval rating of an unpopular President."

_Christian Science Monitor_
Abuse of Skilled-Worker Visas: The technology industry wants more guest-worker visas. The program needs cleaning up first.
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-news-Letter_
While I'm always pleased to see editorials that support reform of the very much abused H-1B program, and the one [above] is generally well stated, I strongly disagree with some of its points.

There's no denying the argument that skilled and educated legal immigrants contribute greatly to the US economy.   An August study by Duke, Harvard, and New York universities shows just how much: Last year, a quarter of the inventors or co-inventors named on international patent applications in the US were foreign nationals living in America.

I will explain below that this study was badly flawed, but that is actually beside the point.   The real problem here is the implication that if those foreign nationals had not been here, fewer inventions would have been produced in the U.S.A.   Clearly that implication would not be justified even if the study had been valid.   Indeed, the main author of the study, Vivek Wadhwa, has agreed that his data do not show that the foreign-born are any more prone to invention than the natives.   When you have a lot of foreign-born people working here, OF COURSE they will be involved in a lot of inventions.
Now, what about the study itself?   It claims that participation by the foreign-born more than tripled between 1998 to 2006.   A jump of that staggering magnitude in such a short time is extremely suspicious, to put mildy.   It would raise a red flag with any serious academic researcher, who would suspect that the data are unreliable.   Indeed, the very last paragraph on the very last page of the report (how many readers will get that far?) states that 60% of the data in 1998 were missing!   No one would use data like this in a paper that is to go in for academic peer review.   But, apparently in a rush to influence the politics, the authors bypassed peer review.

Meanwhile, the number of students seeking US computer-science bachelor's degrees plummeted by 40% from 2001 to 2006 (a key reason was fear of job loss, in part to out-sourcing).

Again, there is a fundamental flaw in reasoning here.   The implication of the statement is that since CS enrollment is down, there must be a shortage of CS students.   That does not logically follow.   Even during the dot-com boom employers were not using more than 50% of the new CS grads for software development (the type of jobs taken by H-1Bs).   Moreover, only 31% of software developers have CS degrees anyway.   And as the writer himself says later, wages for new grads are flat or falling, thus showing we don't have a shortage.
And if the reduced CS enrollment is a problem, and is due to students' fears of off-shoring, wouldn't giving away even more jobs to foreign nationals exacerbate those fears?   Students aren't dummies.

Only a tiny fraction of employers seeking H-1Bs must first seek US workers, and none must demonstrate a labor shortage.   The visas are doled out on a first-come, first-served basis -- not according to need.   The one safe-guard, that H-1Bs are paid the "prevailing wage", is not enforced.

That last point is simply false.   The prevailing-wage law is indeed enforced quite well, but it is so full of loop-holes that employers can use H-1Bs as cheap labor yet be in full compliance with the law.   Indeed, the writer does mention problems with loop-holes later on, but unfortunately he doesn't know that prevailing wage is one of the huge ones.
I must say, though, that I applaud the author for supporting the Durbin/Grassley bill.   I just wish some of the other senators would do so.



Scott Travis _Florida Sun-Sentinel_
Prepaid tuition plans won't cover full costs at 3 state universities
"The change is a result of the state Legislature allowing UF and FSU to charge up to 40% more tuition, and USF 30% more, than the rest of the state universities during the next 4 years.   The first year of higher tuition starts next Fall.   Tuition and fees at state colleges and universities average about $3,400 for 2007-2008...   A 4-year pre-paid plan for a regular state school costs $13,516.27.   A tuition differential plan adds an extra $4,613.86.   Monthly installment plans are available."

2007-10-22 06:15PDT (09:15EDT) (13:15GMT)
David Beers _Globe & Mail_
Why is Vancouver eating its young?

Holly Sklar _Common Dreams_
Billionaires Up, America Down
"When the Forbes 400 began in 1982, it was dominated by oil and manufacturing fortunes.   Today, says Forbes, 'Wall Street is king.'"

Justin Pope _AP_/_Albuquerque Tribune_
College Board says New Mexico has some of lowest college tuition and highest college attendance in the USA: College costs and borrowing up again
abc money
News & Observer
Charlotte Observer
Clarleston WV Daily Mail
Lakeland Ledger
USA Today
"Across the nation, in-state students at 4-year public schools are paying $6,185 this year, up $381 or 6.6% from last year, according to the report.   At 4-year private colleges, tuition and fees rose 6.3% to $23,712.   In New Mexico, the percentage increase was one of the highest in the nation at 8%.   The published price is not the real price for many students.   On average, accounting for grants and tax breaks, full-time students are actually paying $2,577 this year to attend four-year public universities.   That's $209 more than last year.   However, even the net price is still rising much faster than overall inflation.   The net price at public universities is $560 higher, in 2007 dollars, than a decade ago.   The 5 years have seen prices rise 31% above and beyond the general inflation rate for other goods and services - the worst record on college prices of any 5-year period covered by the survey dating back 30 years.   Prices at 2-year colleges, which educate about half of American college students, rose 4.2% to $2,361.   Accounting for aid, their average net cost is only $320 per year."
College Board press release

_Lakeland Ledger_
How Big Is Too Big for Colleges and Universities?
"Arizona State University has 64K students and plans to accommodate 90K by 2020.   California's State University System enrollment is approaching the half million mark.   Those 2 states, along with Florida, reported The New York Times this month, are seeing 'enrollment explode'.   The University of Florida's enrollment now tops 50K, and the State University System's total enrollment is nearing 300K.   The Legislature is still trying to put the finishing touches on budget reductions that will make it even harder for universities and community colleges to accommodate their explosive enrollment growth.   The Legislature is expected to approve a 5% tuition increase this year.   But Florida tuition is the lowest in the nation, and even that $20M boost won't offset the cuts being ordered.   University officials have been arguing foryears that it's not possible to continue to admit ever-larger classes on what amounts to bargain-basement prices without inevitably sacrificing quality.   The [bad] news is that argument seems to be sinking in.   Governor Charlie Crist appears to be backing off his previous opposition to a tuition hike.   And law-makers are coming to grips with the reality that even a 5% increase won't provide enough additional funding to ensure quality."

Dave Newbart _Chicago Sun-Times_
Program invests in student success
"When Jeana Davis couldn't afford the costs of her nursing certification exam, the Illinois Education Foundation kicked in the $340 for the test and required finger-prints.   When Davis was almost failing a chemistry and microbiology class at Olive Henry College, a coordinator with the foundation helped her plan a schedule that let her get her homework done while holding a bartending job and helping her four kids with their studies.   And when she was wondering whether she could finish her degree, a mentor who was also a parent and a nurse offered encouragement...   All these things are features of a relatively new scholarship program for Illinois community college students -- one that will soon expand greatly after an infusion of $250K in state cash.   More than 50 students have received aid, and the 3-year goal is to help at least 200.   The private, non-profit Illinois Education Foundation differs from other scholarship programs in that money isn't just for the best and the brightest, and isn't just for tuition.   The program provides mentors, tutors, time-management help and seminars."

Guy Kawasaki
Core Memory: Computers Are Sensual -- John Alderman & Mark Richards _Core Memory: A Visual Survey of Vintage Computers_
"CDC 6600 (Serial number 1).   When introduced in 1964, the CDC 6600 was the fastest machine in the world.   Designed by Seymour Cray, the 6600 executed about three million instructions per second [3MIps] and remained the iastest machine for five years, until Cray produced his next supercomputer, the 7600.   The elegant architecture of the 6600 included one 60-bit central processor with multiple functional units that executed in parallel with 10 shared-logic 12-bit peripheral I/O processors.   The machine was Freon cooled.   Selling for $6 to $10M each, Control Data Corporation (CDC) manufactured about 100 machines."

_Liberty Quotes_
Famous Pro-Gun, 2nd Amendment Quotes


Thomas Brewton _View from 1776_
Substance vs. Perception in Education: What students learn in college is more important than a big-name school diploma

2007-10-23 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 11)
Daniel Pipes _Jewish World Review_
Annapolis blues
"As a rule, successful negotiations require a common aim; in management-labor talks, for example, both sides want to get back to work.   When a shared premise is lacking, not only do negotiations usually fail, but they usually do more harm than good.   Such is the case in the forthcoming Annapolis, Maryland, talks.   One side (Israel) seeks peaceful coexistence while the other (the Arabs) seeks to eliminate its negotiating partner, as evidenced by its violent actions, its voting patterns, replies to polls, political rhetoric, media messages, school text-books, mosque sermons, wall graffiti, and much else."

2007-10-23 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 11)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Prestige Versus Education
"Some students may feel flattered that Harvard, Yale or M.I.T. seems to be dying to have them apply.   But the brutal reality is that the reason for wanting so many youngsters to apply is so that they can be rejected.   Why?   Because the prestige ranking of a college or university as a 'selective' institution is measured by how small a percentage of its applicants are accepted.   So they have to get thousands of young people to apply, so that they can be rejected...   Academic prestige is based mostly on the research achievements of the faculty.   Places like Harvard or Stanford have many professors who are among the leading experts in their respective fields, including some who have won Nobel Prizes.   Good for them.   But is it good for you, if you are a student at Prestige U.?   Big-name professors are unlikely to be teaching you freshman English or introductory math.   Some may not be teaching you anything at all, unless and until you go on to postgraduate study.   IOW, the people who generated the prestige which attracted you to the college may be seen walking about the campus but are less likely to be seen standing in front of your classroom when you begin your college education.   Lower level courses are usually left to be taught by junior faculty members or even graduate students.   Yet these courses are often the foundation on which higher level courses are built.   If you don't really master introductory calculus, physics or economics, you are unlikely to do well in higher level courses which presuppose that you already have a foundation on which they can build...   You may never have heard of Harvey Mudd College but a higher percentage of its graduates go on to get Ph.D.s than do the graduates of Harvard, Yale, Stanford or M.I.T.   So do the graduates of Grinnell, Reed, and various other small colleges.   Of the chief executive officers of the 50 largest American corporations surveyed in 2006, only four had Ivy League degrees.   Some -- including Michael Dell of Dell computers and Bill Gates of M$ [and Steve Jobs of Apple] -- had no degree at all...   What you really want is not the 'best' college but the college that fits you best.   [Thomas Sowell is a graduate of Harvard and a professor at Stanford.]"

2007-10-23 09:46PDT (12:46EDT) (16:46GMT)
David Sirota _Huffington Post_
Immigration Policy & the Triumph of BuyPartisanship
"To really see the sheer corruption of our political process, you have to look at the lies that simply refuse to go away in the face of overwhelming facts -- the myths that are utterly and completely untrue, yet which are regarded as unchallenged truth in Washington because they serve to rationalize Big Money's agenda.   Regular readers of my writing know that 2 of those lies are the Great Education Myth and the Great Labor Shortage Lie.   The first says that if only Americans obtained more skills and education, they would be able to obtain high-paying jobs.   The second says that America faces a shortage of workers, which requires companies to import workers from abroad.   Both of these fables have been thoroughly debunked by economic data and economic analysis from across the political spectrum."


_WBKO Bowling Green, KY_
Senate rejected illegal alien amnesty bill... again
Washington Times
FAIR applauds defeat of recurring DREAM act amnesty
"U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell opposed the Dream Act.   'It is our duty to promote respect for America's immigration laws and fairness for U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants, and the Dream Act fails that test.', McConnell said.   Senator John McCain ducked the vote, even though he was in the chamber minutes beforehand for another vote on a judicial nominee.   Senator Trent Lott, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, surprised his colleagues by voting in favor of the bill.   Among the Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Barack Obama voted for the bill."
Roll call record on cloture vote

_KXMC Minot, ND_
Watch out for flying pigs. Amnesty International criticized Hamas & Fatah for torture, other abuses
Manchester Guardian
The Independent

2007-10-24 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 12)
John Stossel _Jewish World Review_
Long-term global temperature shift debate continues

2007-10-24 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 12)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Congress-critters' contempt for the US constitution


2007-10-25 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 305,821 in the week ending Oct. 20, a decrease of 526 from the previous week.   There were 291,372 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.6% during the week ending Oct. 13, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,180,625, an increase of 84,148 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.6% and the volume was 2,116,794.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending Oct. 6."

Thomas Brewton _View from 1776_
Congress has a penchant for passing unconstitutional statutes that pander to media-hyped opinion

Pree Glen-Graves _Maryland Gazette_
Barbara Mikulski puts illegal aliens first

Deborah Perelman _Ziff Davis_
Too much bodyshopping, not enough product development
alternate link

Thomas D. Elias _Gilroy Dispatch_
Stealing jobs from Americans is US government policy

_Asia Finest_/_Agence France Presse_
some Neanderthals had red har and fair complexions
"Some of our cave-dwelling Neanderthal relatives probably had red hair and fair complexions, much like modern-day humans of Celtic origin, according to a study released Thursday.   The finding comes from the first such analysis of DNA evidence taken from Neanderthal fossils recovered from El Sidron in northern Spain and Monti Lessini, Italy.   An analysis of the DNA revealed that the ancient hominids carried a mutation in the MC1R gene that codes for a protein involved in the production of melanin -- a substance that gives skin its color and also protects skin against ultraviolet light.   In modern humans, primarily of European descent, mutations in the MC1R gene are thought to be responsible for red hair and pale skin by dampening the activity of the protein.   The mutation observed in the Neanderthal genes was different from the one documented in humans, but when scientists inserted the Neanderthal gene into cells in a test tube, it seemed to have the same effect on melatonin production as the modern human genes, according to the study published in [AAAS] Science..."


"EE" _Programmers Guild_
conspiracy against the American techie...
"What I find most absurd about companies lately especially in the semiconductor industry is willingness to give away 'training' to everybody except the natives...   'Indian out-sourcing company?   No problem!   You can just shadow our employees and learn from them... in fact, you can just spy on them using MSFT remote desk-top...'   'h-1b?   no problem!   we can rotate you all over the company and train you at every engineer job...   we have training lessons out the wazoo for you!   we will just give you everything already finished and you can learn from it...'   'US native...nope...sorry... We don't train you guys.. You have to figure everything out on your own... We don't give you guys anything...   and forget it, we don't have rotation programs or give you opportunities to learn new skills that you don't already know... we don't care if the tools cost 100K and you have no opportunity to learn them on your own...   you guys don't know anything...   bye...   see you...'   Then at the interview some dude with a green card...   'Ohh so you don't know tool xyz...   hmm...   welp...   This guy is obviously unsuitable...'   then, at the back door...   'ohh yes...   h-1b...   ohhh so your resume says xyz...   well good enough for me...   we don't need to ask any questions to make sure you really know it...   come on in...'"

75% of Americans say stress is making them sick, 48% losing sleep, 35% suffer extreme stress
News-Room America
Med Head-Lines
McGill University researchers are developing video-games which reduce stress hormone cortisol by 17%

_Los Angeles Times_
rostral anterior cingulate cortex involved in optimism
"That area deep behind the eyes activates when people think good thoughts about what might happen in the future.   The more optimistic a person is, the brighter the area showed up in brain scans, scientists reported in a small study published online Thursday in the journal Nature.   That same part of the brain, called the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), seems to malfunction in people suffering depression, said the study coauthors, Elizabeth Phelps of New York University and Tali Sharot of University College London.   Researchers gave 15 people functional magnetic resonance imaging scans while they thought about future possibilities.   When the participants thought about good events, both the rACC and amygdala, which is involved in emotional responses including fear, were activated.   But the correlation with optimism was biggest with the cingulate cortex."

Alex Steffen _World Changing_
From corporate responsibility to back-story management

Phyllis Schlafly _World Net Daily_
Multi-Nationals Taking Aim At Americans
Bend Weekly
Human Events
"But now those same globalists and multi-nationals are trying to out-source our technology and innovation advantage by delivering a body blow to our patent system.   This plan comes under the deceptive label Patent 'Reform' Act (HR1908), and it's already been rushed through the U.S. House...   A combination of foreigners who make a business of stealing our intellectual property and the multi-nationals who want to avoid paying royalties to small inventors have ganged up to get Congress to do their bidding.   The battle is going on behind closed doors -- the corporations with highly paid lobbyists vs. the small inventors and businesses who produce 40% of U.S. innovation...
Item No. 1: The Patent 'Reform' Act would change the rule for granting patents from the American first-to-invent requirement to the foreign procedure called first-to-file.   This provision is arguably unconstitutional: The U.S. Constitution protects the ownership 'right' for inventors, not filers.   There is no good reason to prefer any foreign procedure over the successful American system.   And there is a mighty good reason not to: First-to-file would bring a tsunami of applications ground out by the multi-nationals' large staffs, leaving the small inventors buried in paper.
Item No. 2: The Act would make it mandatory for the U.S. Patent Office to publish (i.e., post on the Internet) all inventions 18 months after date of application, thereby repealing the option now used by 37% of American inventors to prevent publication by agreeing not to file in foreign countries.   The big winner of this nasty provision would be the Asian pirates who sit at their computers and steal American inventions between publication at 18 months and 32 months, which is the average time it takes for a patent to be granted.
Item No. 3: The act would create post-grant review, a process that would enable patent infringers to challenge the validity of a patent after it is issued without going to court, thereby making the inventor's ownership vulnerable and reducing his ability to attract venture capital to produce it.   The big winners would be the multi-nationals with lots of lawyers.
Item No. 4: The act would reduce the damages a judge and jury can award to an inventor after proof that his invention has been stolen or infringed.   Again, the winners would be the multi-nationals with big legal departments and deep pockets.
Item No. 5: The act would weaken protections under U.S. trade laws that prevent foreign pirates from exporting their products made with stolen intellectual property into the United States.   The result would be a perverse incentive to export our technology and jobs to foreign countries...   The bill is more likely to increase, not reduce litigation, and the percentage of lawsuits has remained constant for the last 15 years at about only 1.5% of all patents granted."

_Programmers Guild_
Yoh wage study is flawed
"First Yoh unethically down-plays that these wages are only contract wages, which could be as short as one day [and not actual annual earnings].   They bear no relation to the wages paid to full-time [permanent] employees, which are substantially lower.   Yoh should make that more clear in the future.   Yoh fails to disclose that their 'all-time high' wage determination does not factor in inflation...   Virtually NO H-1b LCA is for $50 per hour, and I've never seen an LCA for a software developer approach the 'average' wage of $80 per hour."

2007-10-26 05:08PDT (08:08EDT) (12:08GMT)
Vivek Wadhwa _Business Week_
Science Education Myth
"Yet a new report by the Urban Institute, a non-partisan think tank, tells a different story.   The report disproves many confident pronouncements about the alleged weaknesses and failures of the U.S. education system.   This data will certainly be examined by both sides in the debate over highly skilled workers and immigration (BusinessWeek.com 2007/10/10)...   the Urban Institute's Hal Salzman and Georgetown University professor Lindsay Lowell, show that math, science, and reading test scores at the primary and secondary level have increased over the past 2 decades, and U.S. students are now close to the top of international rankings.   Perhaps just as surprising, the report finds that our education system actually produces more science and engineering graduates than the market demands...   Review of the international rankings, which he says are all based on one of two tests, the Trends in International Mathematics & Science Study (TIMMS) or the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), show the U.S.A. is in a second-ranked group, not trailing the leading economies of the world as is commonly reported.   In fact, the few countries that place higher than the U.S.A. are generally small nations, and few of these rank consistently high across all grades, subjects, and years tested.   Moreover, he says, serious methodological flaws, such as different test populations, and other limitations preclude drawing any meaningful comparison of school systems between countries...   from 1985 to 2000 about 435K U.S. citizens and permanent residents a year graduated with bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in science and engineering.   Over the same period, there were about 150K jobs added annually to the science and engineering work-force...   In previous columns, I have written about research my team at Duke University completed that shattered common myths (BusinessWeek.com, 2006/07/10) about India and [Red China] graduating 12 times as many engineers as the U.S.A.   We found that the U.S. graduated comparable numbers and was far ahead in quality.   Our research (BusinessWeek.com, 2006/11/07) also showed there were no engineer shortages in the U.S.A., and companies weren't going off-shore because of any deficiencies in U.S. workers.   So, there isn't a lack of interest in science and engineering in the U.S.A., or a deficiency in the supply of engineers.   However, there may sometimes be short-term shortages of engineers with specific technical skills in certain industry segments or in various parts of the country.   The National Science Foundation data show that of the students who graduated from 1993 to 2001, 20% of the bachelor's holders went on to complete master's degrees in fields other than science and engineering and an additional 45% were working in other fields.   Of those who completed master's degrees, 7% continued their education and 31% were working in fields other than science and engineering.   There isn't a problem with the capability of U.S. children...   Perhaps we should focus on creating demand for the many scientists and engineers we graduate...   [Vivek Wadhwa is a former cross-border bodyshopper and currently a] Wertheim Fellow at the Harvard Law School and executive in residence at Duke University."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Urban Institute study: the Science Education Myth

Long-time readers of this e-newsletter know that I am just as critical of research supporting my point of view as of that which is counter to it.   The Urban Institute study, reported by Vivek Wadhwa in the article [above], is a case in point.
I don't mean to minimize the study.   It looks very interesting and useful, and I look forward to reading it upon its release.   (Judging by Vivek's column here, apparently he and selected others were given an advance look at a draft.)   But my point here will be that although it will be used by people who agree with me on the H-1B issue, it is
(a) not very relevant to the H-1B issue and
(b) [merely supplies] new details on old news.
For years computer industry lobbyists have pressed their demand to Congress for an expanded H-1B program by saying that the U.S.A. is not producing enough science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates to fill demands.   They have found this pitch to be [so] extremely powerful -- trashing the American education system always gets attention -- that they have used it more and more.   And of course presidents of universities, scientific societies and the like are only too happy to go along with industry in making such statements, as academia gets big donations from industry and academia is a big user of the H-1B program itself.
But the claim is a sham.   The computer industry doesn't want STEM degrees in general.   If you are a new graduate in math or physics, say, and submit your CV to M$ or Intel thinking they'll be anxious to hire you, you'll be sadly mistaken.   But most people in Congress couldn't program their way out of a wet paper bag, and so if you tell them that one needs to know quantum gravity or algebraic topology to work for, say, Oracle, they'll readily believe such fables.   So, the lobbyists' talk about STEM degree production is highly effective.   In fact, I believe that even that acronym, STEM, was originally invented by the industry and its academic allies.
The same comment goes for the international test score comparisons in math and science.   Again, this point is rather irrelevant to the computer industry's push for more H-1Bs, for the reasons I cited above, but it's even worse than that, because the test scores themselves are misleading.   Yes, Singapore is number one in the world in those scores, but guess who's in second place -- Nebraska!   If Nebraska and a few other states were considered separate countries, they'd be in second place.   States like California appear to be faring much more poorly, but that is because, alas, we have not been able reach the under-class well.   But the U.S. main-stream kids are doing fine.   And keep in mind, the two main countries from which we import H-1Bs and to which we export software work, India and [Red China], refuse to participate in those international test comparisons. (David Berliner "Our Schools Versus Theirs" Washington Post   2001 January 28.)
Even more importantly, for software development, which is the type of job that most of the computer-related H-1Bs occupy, most people in the profession don't have a computer science degree.   They come from all kinds of fields, ranging from electrical engineering to business administration to English.   So when the industry lobbyists cite declines in CS degree production, it doesn't mean we don't have enough people to be programmers.   (Note to you researchers out there: The job title Computer Programmer has for some years been in the process of being replaced by the title Software Engineer.   Same job, fancier name.   So don't be fooled by the fact that the BLS separates the 2 titles in their data.)
The Urban Institute study discussed below also finds that large fractions of STEM graduates end up in non-STEM jobs.   This "finding" is an example of what I described in another posting to this e-news-letter a couple of weeks ago -- Congress, the press and even groups critical of the H-1B program go through so much turn-over that there is no "memory" of previously-acquired knowledge.   Studies showing that many STEM grads end up in non-STEM fields are as old as the hills (and as new as one of Vivek's recent reports).
So again, we're not using the people we have.   Most of them either can't find a STEM job (e.g. the physics majors), can't find a good STEM job (see comment on CS grads below) or find that STEM jobs just aren't as financially rewarding as, for example, getting a law degree or an MBA.   Remember, the BusinessWeek study found that starting salaries, adjusted for inflation, for new grads in CS and EE are stagnant or falling.   So, they go to another field.
That last point, about wages, can be traced to the H-1B program.   Remember, Alan Greenspan has been saying recently that H-1B is needed to keep tech worker salaries down, and the National Science Foundation had a policy paper on this back in the 1980s when it was pushing Congress to establish the H-1B program in the first place.   The point is to swell the labor market with foreign nationals, to hold down wages.
Similarly, many employers shunt the American CS grads into customer support while hiring H-1Bs for the technical work.   Customer support is not interesting to many CS grads -- remember my student who, in changing majors away from CS said, "If I'm going to end up with an econ-type job, I might as well major in econ instead of CS" -- so they look to other professions in spite of having a CS degree.
Granted, this discussion doesn't talk about quality.   Not every CS grad would do well as a programmer.   (Not every H-1B programmer does well as a programmer either; I hear numerous complaints about low quality, though of course some are excellent.)   But I can tell you that I see lots of excellent CS grads being offered only jobs in customer support, software testing and the like, while mediocre H-1Bs get the software development work, which doesn't need good English.   Of course, the H-1Bs would get the customer support jobs too, if only they had the level of English and knowledge of U.S. culture needed.
And they hire H-1Bs even for some of the jobs in testing.   I just this week got a call from a famous company, asking for a reference for a foreign student from [Red China] who is just finishing his PhD.   This guy is really good, and as I've always said, I strongly support the immigration of those few who are "the best and the brightest", so I was happy to serve as a reference for him.   But the job they are considering him for is... Test Engineer!   They want to hire a PhD as a Test Engineer!   Amazing.   This completely flies in the face of the industry lobbyists' tech labor shortage claim.

Urban Institute report

2007-10-26 07:03PDT (10:03EDT) (14:03GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer index fell from a revised 83.4 in September to 80.9 in October

2007-10-26 08:58PDT (11:58EDT) (15:58GMT)
Chris Torres _Lancaster Farming_
Immigration law reform/perversion debated in Harrisburg

2007-10-26 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 24)
Rabbi Berel Wein _Jewish World Review_
To Be Alone

S&P 5001,535.28
10-year US T-Bond4.39%
crude oil$91.86/barrel
natural gas$7.218/MBTU

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

  "I will build a car for the multitude.   It will be large enough for the family but small enough for the individual to run and care for.   It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise.   But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one - and enjoy with his family the blessings of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces." --- Henry Ford  



2007-10-26 18:00PDT (2007-10-26 21:00EDT) (2007-10-27 01:00GMT)
Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) and Xcode 3.0 released, over 2M copies sold within hours




B. Lindsay Lowell & Harold Salzman _Urban Institute_
Assessing the Evidence on Science and Engineering Education, Quality, and Work-Force Demand
alternate link
less graphical format
"The pool of S&E-qualified secondary and post-secondary graduates is several times larger than the number of annual job openings."

2007-10-29 06:00PDT (09:00EDT) (13:00GMT)
David Benjamin _EE Times_/_CMP_
Salary Survey: They're not rock stars, but EEs earn satisfaction

2007-10-29 11:55PDT (14:55EDT) (18:55GMT)
Frank Eltman _excite_/_AP_
NY millionaire couple's slavery trial opened
"A pair of Indonesian women brought to the United States to work as housekeepers were starved, deprived of sleep and repeatedly stabbed and beaten by a millionaire couple, prosecutors said Monday at the couple's trial.   Mahender Murlidhar Sabhnani, 51, and his wife, Varsha Mahender Sabhnani, 45, have pleaded not guilty to a 12-count federal indictment accusing them of conspiracy, involuntary servitude and other charges."

2007-10-29 15:01PDT (18:01EDT) (22:01GMT)
_Conservative Voice_
NAFTA expansion would further hurt US work-force

_Cincinnati OH Business Courier_
Tata, The Banks win state development grants
"grants from the Ohio Department of Development, lieutenant-governor Lee Fisher...   Tata America International Corp., doing business as TCS America, was awarded a $2.5M Rapid Outreach Grant for costs related to the acquisition and remodeling of a building in Miami township, Clermont county.   The company, headquartered in Mumbai, India, recently announced it will open a North American delivery center in more than 150K square feet at the James River Corp.'s former building at the Ridgewood Corporate Center.   The $20M project is expected to create 1K jobs."

2007-10-29 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 17)
Rabbi Doctor Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
Smart and Rich: It's okay to profit from superior knowledge if it was fairly obtained


Marshall Loeb _MarketWatch_
How to get on recruiters' radar

2007-10-30 05:08PDT (08:08EDT) (12:08GMT)
Bruce Weinstein _Yahoo!_/_Business Week_
Preventing the death of customer care

2007-10-30 11:44PDT (14:44EDT) (18:44GMT)
Brett Arends _The Street_
Stanley O'Neal presided over $10.6G loss, walks away with $160M
USA Today
"O'Neal made his name at Merrill Lynch in part by down-sizing the firm after the market implosion in 2001 [2000 March 10, actually].   He fired more than 20K employees...   The bigger problem... is that Merrill Lynch lost its compass in the financial services industry and no longer has the institutional memory required to make the right choices about when to pull out of volatile markets."

2007-10-30 12:15PDT (15:15EDT) (19:15GMT)
Elizabeth Stewart & James Sturcke _Manchester Guardian_
foreign-born employed in UK revised upward
"there were 1.5M people employed in the UK who were born over-seas...   Earlier the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, apologised for under-estimating immigration figures after it was revealed that the increase in foreign nationals working in the UK since 1997 was 1.1M, 300K more than previously stated...   In it Karen Dunnell, the national statistician for England and Wales at the Office of National Statistics, said: 'For the three month period ending 2007 March there were 1.5M over-seas born people in employment who had entered the UK in the last 10 years.'...   The home secretary insisted that the majority of the 2.7M jobs created since Labour came to power had gone to British workers, but the new figures show that over 40% of new jobs have gone to foreign workers."

Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
H-1B scams target Indian job-seekers

2007-10-30 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 18)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Political "solutions"
"Study after study has shown that housing prices are highest where government restrictions on building are the most severe.   That is the ugly result of pretty words like 'open space'...   Government laws and policies, especially the Community Reinvestment Act, pressured lenders to invest in people and places where they would not invest otherwise.   Government also created the temporarily very low interest rates that made the mortgages seem affordable for the moment...   Why would people risk building million-dollar homes in the known paths of wild-fires?   For the same reason that people choose to live in the known paths of hurricanes. Because the government -- that is, the [tax-victims] -- will get stuck with a lot of the costs of dealing with those dangers and the costs of rebuilding...   government preserves all the conditions for wildfires and subsidizes people who live in their path.   As for water shortages, they are as endemic to California as wildfires.   But when an economist hears about a shortage that persists for years, the first question that comes to mind is: Why doesn't the price rise until supply and demand are equal?...   The federal government's water projects supply much of the water used in California that enables agriculture to flourish in what would otherwise be a desert.   The government sells this water to farmers at prices artificially lower than the cost of providing it -- and at a tiny fraction of what people pay for water in Los Angeles or San Francisco.   Is it news, at this late date, that people waste things that they get cheap?   It's been happening for centuries."


2007-10-30 22:23PDT (2007-10-31 01:23EDT) (2007-10-31 05:23GMT)
Anil Penna _Yahoo!_/_AFP_
Cisco plans to invest $1.6G in India, increase employment there from 3K to 10K by 2010

Sher Zieve _Family Security Matters__Family Security Matters_
Government Continues to Ignore Citizen Wishes Regarding Illegal Aliens

2007-10-31 07:53PDT (10:53EDT) (14:53GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US GDP up 3.9% in third quarter
BEA press releases

2007-10-31 15:05PDT (18:05EDT) (22:05GMT)
Rob Sanchez _CIO_
"The first thing that really caught my eye in his new article is that during the time period from 1985 to 2000, about 435K U.S. citizens and permanent residents a year graduated with Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degrees in science and engineering.   Over the same period, there were about 150K jobs added annually to the science and engineering work-force.   Let's consider just what those numbers mean.   Every year, for the 15 year time period considered (1985-2000) there was a job deficit of 285K jobs per year.   That translates to a total job creation deficit of 4.275M.   Pay attention to the time span -- those years were considered to be the boom times for high-tech careers.   Numbers may not be available for the last 7 years but you can bet things are far worse now.   So here is the jobs score-card for 15 years:
 2,250,000S&E jobs were created
 -6,525,000S&E graduates
 -4,275,000jobs creation deficit

Put another way, we graduated more than 4M science and engineering grads than the job market needed -- but actually the situation was far worse than that number would indicate because it represents a severe under-count.   4M is probably at least 5 times too small!   So, during this long period of glutted job markets, what was the USA government doing to help the problem?   Well, at the same time millions of S&E grads couldn't find jobs in their chosen profession, the government was solving an alleged 'shortage' by giving incentives for companies to move jobs over-seas and to import foreign workers to replace their more expensive American counterparts.   Employers responded by dumping their USA employees by the tens of thousands and by hiring vast numbers of temporary guest workers to enter our domestic job market by using the H-1B and L-1 visa programs.   Millions more entered the job market with employment based green cards (EB) that allowed them a path to citizenship."

2007-10-31 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 19)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
"Driving While Black"

2007-10-31 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 19)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Are the poor getting poorer?
"In 1971, only about 32% of all Americans enjoyed air conditioning in their homes.   By 2001, 76% of poor people had air conditioning.   In 1971, only 43% of Americans owned a color television; in 2001, 97% of poor people owned at least one.   In 1971, 1% of American homes had a microwave oven; in 2001, 73% of poor people had one.   46% of poor households own their homes.   Only about 6% of poor households are overcrowded.   The average poor American has more living space than the average non-poor individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens and other European cities.   Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30% own 2 or more cars.   78% of the poor have a VCR or DVD player; 62% have cable or satellite TV reception; and one-third have an automatic dishwasher...   There's one segment of the black population that suffers only a 9.9% poverty rate, and only 13.7% of their under-5-year-olds are poor.   There's another segment of the black population that suffers a 39.5% poverty rate, and 58.1% of its under-5-year-olds are poor.   Among whites, one population segment suffers a 6% poverty rate, and only 9.9% of its under-5-year-olds are poor.   Another segment of the white population suffers a 26.4% poverty rate, and 52% of its under-5-year-olds are poor.   What do you think distinguishes the high and low poverty populations?   The only statistical distinction between both the black and white populations is marriage.   There is far less poverty in married-couple families, where presumably at least one of the spouses is employed.   Fully 85% of black children living in poverty reside in a female-headed household.   A University of Michigan study shows that only 5% of those in the bottom fifth of the income distribution in 1975 remained there in 1991.   What happened to them?   They moved up to the top three-fifths of the income distribution -- middle class or higher.   Moreover, 3 out of 10 of the lowest income earners in 1975 moved all the way into the top fifth of income earners by 1991.   Those who were poor in 1975 had an inflation-adjusted average income gain of $27,745 by 1991.   Those workers who were in the top fifth of income earners in 1975 were better off in 1991 by an average of only $4,354.   The bottom line is, the richer are getting richer and the poor are getting richer."

2007-10-31 (5768 Mar-Cheshvan 19)
Craig Steiner
the myth of the Clinton surplus

2007 October
Kalevi Wiik _Journal of Genetic Genealogy_
where do European men come from?: analysis of non-recombining Y-chromosome Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs)

  "What will you do when evil men take office?   When evil men take office, the whole gang will be in collusion!   They will keep the people in utter ignorance and steal their liberty by ambuscade!...   Your laws on impeachment are a sham and a mockery due to mutual implication of government officials!   My great objection to this government [as constituted without the Bill of Rights] is that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights, or waging war against tyrants.   Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defense, the militia, is put in the hands of Congress? Your guns are gone!   What resistance could be made?   Will you assemble and just tell them?   Even if you could assemble, how will you enforce rightful punishment when due?   Oh, sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if to punish tyrants, it were only necessary to assemble the people.   A standing army we shall have, also to execute the execrable commands of tyranny...   Let Mr. Madison tell me when did liberty ever exist when the sword and the purse were given up from the people?   Unless a miracle shall interpose, no nation ever did, nor ever can, retain its liberty after the loss of the sword and the purse!   Congress, by power of taxation, by the raising of an army, and by their control over the militia, have the sword in one hand and the purse in the other.   Shall we be safe without either?   Congress has unlimited power over both: they are entirely given up by us!   Guard with jealous attention the public liberty!   Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel!   Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force, and whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined!   When the government removes your armaments, you will have no power but government will have all power!" --- Patrick Henry, governor of Virginia  


2007 October
_Migration News_
No-Match Enforcement, Border, Blue Cards, Trade, Populaiton, Trafficking, Refugees, Nurses

  "Return to an agrarian world would mean the starvation and death of the great bulk of the current population.   We are stuck with the industrial revolution, whether we like it or not." --- Murray Rothbard 1973  


Proposed Bills 2007

Presidential candidate fund-raising, expenditures, and debt
  "Every time I reduce the price of the car by $1, I get 1K new buyers." --- Henry Ford (quoted in David Halberstam 1986 _The Reckoning_ pg 68)  

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