2007 December

3rd month of the 4th quarter of the 18th year of the Bush-Clinton-Shrub economic depression

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updated: 2017-07-28

  "Since the Supreme Court has never required the exclusionary rule per se but only some meaningful sanction against illegal police conduct, the state legislatures are free to experiment.   Why haven't they experimented?   Because any new system [it is expected] will cost money." --- Richard Neely WV Supreme Court  

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  "The Fourth Amendment generally protects against unreasonable searches of persons, papers, and houses; however, its interpretation is artificial from the outset.   In constitutional law interpretation is everything, since the text is usually sparse and vague.   The Fourth Amendment literally requires a warrant for all searches, yet we have never required literal compliance.   Once the words are not to be taken literally, all interpretations are just that - interpretations." --- Richard Neely WV Supreme Court  



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

2007 December

3rd month of the 4th quarter of the 8th year of the Clinton-Bush economic depression



MI5 warns of Red Chinese cyber espionage
Globe and Mail
Straits Times

2007-12-01 09:59PST (12:59EST) (17:59GMT)
L.M. Sixel _Houston Chronicle_
Bid for 6K guest-workers challenged
"The request by Baystone Contractors was pretty simple.   The company wanted visas to bring in 6K foreign unskilled workers to build and repair ships for four big oil refining companies in Southeast Texas.   The only problems were that the refiners didn't need the work, weren't in the market for unskilled foreign labor and never asked for Baystone's help.   Besides, a Texas union chief says there would have been plenty of American applicants for the jobs -- if they existed...   'We didn't make an application, we didn't approve it, and we didn't ask for the workers.', said Bill Day, director of media relations for Valero, referring to the application filed by Baystone with the U.S. Labor Department to hire 1,500 foreign pipe-fitters and welders starting Oct. 1.   Valero complained to federal law enforcement officials when it heard from reporters that the company's name was used on the application, Day said.   The other refiners on separate applications issued similarly strongly worded denials of any involvement whatsoever, noting they pay welders far more than the $15 per hour prescribed in the application and don't hire unskilled craftsmen...   'We don't build ships.', said Total spokesman Rick Hagar, adding that qualified Port Arthur-area welders can expect to make north of $25 an hour...   Cunningham, executive secretary-treasurer of the Texas Building and Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO in Austin, quickly mobilized a campaign to generate a huge number of domestic applicants...   The commission complained that Baystone wasn't responding to phone messages from U.S. workers about the job openings as required under the visa program, according to a notice the agency sent Baystone in August...   H&W Welding president Sam Holloway said his only tie to the Baystone Contractors' foreign labor applications was that he told Orgeron that if Baystone obtained some visas, he could place some of the workers, but he never said how many or where they'd work."


2007-12-02 10:56PST (13:56EST) (18:56GMT)
Charlotte Cooper _Reuters_
Congressman to introduce nefarious India trade legislation
"David Dreier, a California Republican, said at the World Economic Forum India summit such a move would be a building block towards the success of the Doha Round of global trade talks or the next World Trade Organisation (WTO) round.   'I'm going to introduce legislation calling for the beginnings of negotiations between the United States of America and India for a free trade agreement.', Dreier said.   'It will in large part be a discussion piece for us to just begin talking about this.', he told Reuters after making the announcement to hundreds of delegates at a dinner-time question and answer session with Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath."

_California Job Journal_
Lost Homes, Lost Jobs
"The US economy could lose half-a-million jobs next year if the current home lending crisis continues as expected.   That's the warning issued in a current report by the US Conference of Mayors, which estimates the nationwide cost of the sub-prime mortgage debacle at $166M...   Researchers at a division of the World Health Organization have found that working the overnight shift can be hazardous to your health.   The discovery is based on research finding higher rates of breast and prostate cancer among men and women whose work-day is at night...   While Wall Street bankers enjoy record year-end bonuses despite record losses from the credit collapse, very few workers on Main Street will see a bump in their holiday bonuses this year.   Only 3% of human resource executives surveyed by outplacement consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported their companies would be increasing bonuses.   The good news is that only 3% said their companies were canceling bonuses."


2007-12-02 19:36PST (2007-12-02 22:36EST) (2007-12-03 03:36GMT)
Stephanie Overby _CIO_/_IDG_
Is IT Off-Shoring Actually Cheaper or More Expensive Than Domestic Sourcing?
"There are the transition costs, the productivity dips, the management over-head, and the cultural implications (just to name a few) that have to be factored into the cost-benefit equation.   It sometimes can be more cost-effective to send IT work abroad.   But it's usually not as cheap as you think.   I came across a study last week, however, that takes that argument one (giant) step further.   The new paper Service Off-Shoring: Same Old Trade with a New Label? is featured at VoxEU.org, a research and policy portal set up by the Centre for Economic Policy Research featuring commentary from European economists.   Boiled down to its essence, this paper asserts not simply that the off-shoring of services may be more expensive than buyers think, but that the off-shoring of services may be more expensive period.   That is, they find that it may be significantly cheaper to source services work closer to home."

2007-12-03 09:07PST (12:07EST) (17:07GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM manufacturing index fell slightly from 50.9 to 50.8 in November

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_
Giffords pushing for H-1B increase
"In the past, we were told that the reason we need more H-1Bs is because there is a shortage of educated American workers.   Now, according to the AZ Star, what we have is a 'self-imposed shortage on highly educated foreigners'.   Is that diversity-think or what?   Most puzzling of all, the AZStar idiotorial makes the ridiculous contention that liberals might not support the H-1B increase being proposed by freshman 'representative' Gabrielle Giffords.   Liberal elites and labor unions usually support H-1B increases, so I'm not sure who the AZStar is referring to.   AZStar's assumption that there is some kind of liberal opposition to H-1B is even odder if you consider that Giffords is member of the 'New Democrat Coalition', a group of [leftist] Democrats who signed a CompeteAmerica letter urging the Democratic leadership in Congress to push through an H-1B increase...   Speaking of liberals, remember Robert Reich? He was the labor secretary under Clinton who was instrumental in tripling the number of H-1B visas.   Reich hasn't changed his attitude either -- in 2003 he was quoted in the Washington Post saying: 'makes no sense for us to try to protect or preserve high-tech jobs in America or block efforts by American companies to out-source'.   Call it a small world, or perhaps a coincidence, but guess who attended the Giffords' wedding ceremony?   Robert Reich, of course!   We will never know what Reich told Gabrielle Giffords between toasts of champagne, but you can bet he wasn't calling for her to protect our jobs by restricting H-1B or [off-shore] out-sourcing.   Read all about the wedding here -- the story is so sweet it will give you goose bumps!"

Dennis Mangan
Sex, math and unemployed scientists

_Middletown Times Herald-Record_
Reader comments
"I am filled with outrage.   I am outraged over people telling me in glossy fliers that my school taxes are only going up 3.5% and then getting a 21% increase..." John
"Americans are too tired to be outraged.   Americans are depressed; we are too busy trying to pay for gas, health insurance and the outrageous taxes on our homes.   We are too busy trying to hold on to the crappy paying, self-esteem lowering jobs that we have.   We are told by the companies we work for that we are easily replaced so stop complaining.   We are told by our government that we need to bring in people from other countries because we Americans are lazy and under-qualified (H-1B visas) and don't want the jobs that are out there.   We are also told by our government that there are plenty of jobs out there (if you want to work at WM and have no benefits).   I personally am planning to express my outrage in the voting booth and hope that many Americans do the same and take the time to put someone in the White House who cares about the American people and what they are going through." - Laurie
"This is the end result of the divide and conquer tactic, the two-party system and the polarizing of the citizens.   The outrage is there, and it's turned into the support for presidential candidate Ron Paul." - T.C.

Steve Sailer _V Dare_
Why Do We Keep Writing About Intelligence?
V Dare is holding a fund-raising drive

Michael Heylin _Chemical & Engineering News_/_ACS_
Job situation for 2006 chemistry graduates was not too bad, but salaries for new Ph.D.s stumbled

S&P 5001,472.42
10-year US T-Bond3.90%
crude oil$89.31/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).


Paul Craig Roberts _CounterPunch_
The Shortage Myth: Lies at the End of the American Dream
Wall Street Journal
V Dare
"Last June a revealing marketing video from the law firm, Cohen & Grigsby appeared on the Internet.   The video demonstrated the law firm's techniques for getting around US law governing work visas in order to enable corporate clients to replace their American employees with foreigners who work for less.   The law firm's marketing manager, Lawrence Lebowitz, is up-front with interested clients: 'our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested US worker'.   If an American somehow survives the weeding out process, 'have the manager of that specific position step in and go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them for this position -- in most cases there doesn't seem to be a problem'.   No problem for the employer he means, only for the expensively educated American university graduate who is displaced by a foreigner imported on a work visa justified by a non-existent shortage of trained and qualified Americans.
University of California computer science professor Norm Matloff, who watches this issue closely, said that Cohen & Grigsby's practices are the standard ones used by hordes of attorneys, who are cleaning up by putting Americans out of work.   The Cohen & Grigsby video was a short-term sensation as it undermined the business propaganda that no American employee was being displaced by foreigners on H-1b or L-1 work visas.   Soon, however, business organizations and their shills were back in gear lying to Congress and the public about the amazing shortage of qualified Americans for literally every technical and professional occupation, especially IT and software engineering...
Many responses come from recent university graduates such as the one who 'graduated nearly at the top of my class in 2002' with degrees in both electrical and computer engineering and who 'hasn't been able to find a job'.
A college roommate of a family member graduated from a good engineering school last year with a degree in software engineering.   He had one job interview.   Jobless, he is back at home living with his parents and burdened with student loans that bought an education that off-shoring and work visas have made useless to Americans.
The hundreds of individual cases that have been brought to my attention are dismissed as 'anecdotal' by my fellow economists.   So little do they know.
I also receive numerous responses from American engineers and IT workers who have managed to hold on to jobs or to find new ones after long intervals when they have been displaced by foreign hires.   Their descriptions of their work environments are fascinating.
For example, Dayton, Ohio, was once home to numerous American engineers.   Today, writes one surviving American, 'I feel like an alien in my own country -- as if Dayton had been colonized by India.   NCR and other local employers have either off-shored most of their IT work or rely heavily on Indian guest-workers.   The IT department of National City Bank across the street from LexisNexis is entirely Indian.   The nearby apartment complexes house large numbers of Indian guest workers filling the engineering needs of many area businesses.'   I have learned that Reed Elsevier, which owns LexisNexis, has hired a new Indian vice president for off-shoring and that now the jobs of the Indian guest workers may be on the verge of being off-shored to another country.
The relentless drive for cheap labor now threatens the foreign guest-workers who displaced America's own engineers...
On 2006 November 6, Michael S. Teitelbaum, vice president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, explained to a subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology the difference between the conventional or false portrait that there is a shortage of US scientists and engineers and the reality on the ground, which is that off-shoring, foreign guest-workers, and educational subsidies have produced a surplus of US engineers and scientists that leaves many facing unstable and failed careers...
Among the interest groups that benefit from the false portrait are universities, which gain graduate student enrollments and inexpensive post-docs to conduct funded lab research.   Employers gain larger profits from lower paid scientists and engineers, and immigration lawyers gain fees by leading employers around the work visa rules...
as BLS pay-roll jobs data indicate, in 20 years the US will have a third world work force engaged in domestic non-tradable services."

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1794
Grassley digging deep
"Senator Grassley is digging deep for the truth.   This time, he is demanding that Fannie Mae and the NIH cough up data on the number of H-1B visa holders they hire.   Grassley's efforts are much appreciated but he may have let both of these agencies off the hook.   That's because H-1B might not be the only visa they use to import workers.   In order to get a complete picture of how many foreigners they employ Grassley should have asked how many foreign nationals are on their pay-roll, and to ask them to break the list down by visa.   There are many types of visas that their employees could be on including L-1, TN, O, EB, and even students on OPT.   The NIH in particular hires a lot of foreign students on OPT visas since they claim that they can't find enough American graduate students that want to work for grunt wages.   Since Fannie Mae and NIH don't have over-seas offices, any L-1 visa holders they use would probably be brought in by bodyshops like Tata or Infosys.   Grassley has been very successful at obtaining data in the past.   He sent letters to the law firm Cohen & Grigsby, although I don't know if there has been public disclosure of the lawyers' reply.   On another occasion he obtained a fascinating list of top L-1 visa employers (see the archived newsletter 'Senators Release List Of Top L-1 Visa Employers', #1723 -- 2007/07/05."
class action against Tata


Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Dems avoid giving straight answers to questions about H-1B
 The Democratic candidates in 2004 were just as bad as the Republicans, in spite of the Democratic Party's putative pro-labor position.   I discussed that at length at the time.   If you are interested, plug
    ~Democratic site:heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/Archive
into Google.   The 2008 election will be no better.   Clinton, Obama and Edwards have all made pro-H-1B statements to the press in recent months.   So, the poor showing of Edwards and Biden in today's debate should be no surprise.
Biden's comments are the much worse of the two.   He flatly says that it is illegal to under-pay H-1Bs, end of story, and that employers must give hiring priority to Americans, and then hastily changes the subject.
I am told by many knowledgeable sources that "TubeGate" (the videos of the immigration law firm teaching its clients how to circumvent the law on wage requirements for H-1B and green cards, and how to legally avoid hiring Americans in the green card case) are well known in the Senate.   They may not know much else about the hiring of foreign workers, but they know about the damning videos.
This, together with Biden's abrupt change of subject (to a worthy but totally unrelated topic), says to me that Biden knows full well that the H-1B and employer-sponsored green card programs are a sham, and is deliberately dissembling here.
Edwards is being a bit more honest, though wimpy.   He is saying that he doesn't know who is right in the H-1B debate, Bill Gates or the critics of the program.   No other major candidate has made such a statement.   He also seems to support adding a U.S. worker recruitment requirement into H-1B, again something none of the other major candidates endorse; on the contrary, Biden states there is already such a requirement, which is false.
Edwards' campaign statement in 2004 included the following:
Stop Abuse in High-Tech Guest-Worker Programs.   High-tech guest-workers make a real contribution to America's economy when they do jobs Americans can't do.   Today, however, companies misuse high-tech guest-worker programs to hire foreign workers who will just work for less.   In the H-1B program, labor law violations grew by 565% between 1998 and 2002.   And there has been wide publicity about abuses of the L-1 program to out-source U.S. jobs.   Rather than addressing these abuses, President Bush snuck a provision into the Singapore trade deal making it easier for companies seeking guest-workers to bring in highly skilled guest-workers to displace U.S. workers.   Edwards will eliminate the flagrant abuses in the H-1B and L-1 programs by requiring employers to demonstrate that they could not recruit American workers and that they pay the prevailing wage.   He will also increase the employer fee in the H-1B visa program, with the resources continuing to support science and math education.
However, in that statement, he implied that the abuses of H-1B are L-1 are merely enforcement issues, which they are most certainly not; the abuses are LEGAL uses of huge gaping loop-holes.   The "enforcement fix" has been a staple of politician weaseling on H-1B on both sides of the aisle.   Sadly, many of the activist groups fighting the program feed into this, by emphasizing the enforcement issue themselves.
Edwards' pleading of ignorance on H-1B, rather than automatically siding with Gates, is refreshing, but is it sincere?   There is plenty of reliable data on the H-1B sham available for anyone who really wants to get to the bottom of this issue, much of it government reports, including Congress' own commissioned study.   Thus, while feigned ignorance would indicate dishonesty, sincere ignorance would show grave irresponsibility.   Name your poison, voters.

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
"STEM?   Who said STEM?   Wasn't us."
Many of you will recall that the Urban Institute recently came out with a report whose summary was that, contrary to numerous claims that the U.S.A. is not producing enough graduates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), we are in fact producing far more than we need.
You may also recall that I stated that the claims of a STEM shortage had been made by computer industry lobbyists who were pushing Congress to expand the H-1B program.   M$ and Intel rarely hire mathematicians (in fact, NO ONE does), but the STEM umbrella gave them a much more powerful wedge on the Hill than if they had cited the narrow fields of computer science and electrical engineering.
So, when the UI study came out, I noted that the industry lobbyists' response would be to say, "Oh, sure, we have lots of STEM graduates but not enough in CS and EE."   It would be rank hypocrisy, of course, but people in Congress wouldn't notice, and the UI report would be effectively banished from the minds of the politicians.
Well, sure enough, University of Washington CS professor Ed Lazowska has said exactly that in a letter to the editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education, enclosed below.   He says we do have plenty of STEM graduates, but not in crucial fields.   Right on schedule.
To the Editor:
Michael S. Teitelbaum's Congressional testimony regarding the science and engineering work force fails to differentiate among fields ("Researchers Dispute Notion That America Lacks Scientists and Engineers" The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 16).   It's hard to draw useful conclusions from such a broad-brush approach.
There are fields [whose executives claim] face, very significant work-force shortages.   For example, the U.S. Department of Commerce projected that between 2004 and 2014, 78% of new jobs in science and engineering, and 68% of job openings (new jobs plus replacements for retirees), will be in information technology [while hundreds of thousands of capable, knowledgeable STEM workers remain unemployed and under-employed]...
There may well be a glut of graduates in biology, but there is a documented shortage of various medical professionals.
Work-force and pipe-line issues in the STEM fields -- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics -- are complex and subtle.   Recently Congress has heard some simplistic views.   Let's deepen the discussion.
Ed Lazowska
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
University of Washington
Lazowska has been the champion academic in public support for H-1B, quoted quite often in the press.   This may be because he is so remarkably beholden to the industry.   Here is what I wrote in my Michigan Journal of Law Reform article:
The web page of the Computer Science Department at the University of Washington, a leading supporter of industry's labor shortage claims, showed the following as of 2000 March 16:   $1.5M from Ford Motor Co. in research funds;   "several million dollars" in equipment from Intel;   $500K from Boeing for an endowed faculty chair;   another $500K chair from M$;   another chair from Boeing;   and finally, $3M from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for 2 endowed chairs.   Department chair Ed Lazowska, who has been an out-spoken supporter of the H-1B program, personally benefits financially from a cozy relationship with industry too.
According to his personal web page, he is "member of the Technical Advisory Boards for M$ Research, Voyager Capital, Ignition, Frazier Technology Ventures, Madrona Venture Group, and Impinj, and of the Boards of Directors of Data I/O Corporation and Lguide.com.";...
As to the projection he attributes to the Dept. of Commerce, he is referring to the Dept. of Labor, not DoC, and I would point to something a clever faculty colleague of mine said.   When our department chair said, "The government projects that software engineering will be the fastest-growing field in the next 10 years.", my colleague said, "Yeah, but in which country?"   :-)

James Maguire _IT Management_/_Datamation_
Giving them He**: John Miano on the H-1B visa
"The [H-1B] program is the ultimate managerial tactic to drive down wages, by his account: it provides lower cost, lower skilled workers who displace American IT professionals.   In the never-ending battle between management and [science and tech professionals], the H-1B visa is management's sharpest tool...   One of his chief thrusts is a campaign of legal action taken in partnership with the Programmer's Guild.   As he tells it, many U.S. tech companies strongly favor H-1B workers over American workers, knowing that pay levels for H-1B workers are lower.   Miano launches legal action for American workers who claim they've been discriminated against in the hiring process.   It's illegal to discriminate based on immigration status.   'They tell me they've applied for a job.   At the end, the company writes back to them.   ''Oh, I didn't realize we couldn't hire U.S. citizens for this job.''   It''s quite flagrant.   I have thousands of these ads.   It's quite open what's going on here.'...
The results of Miano's legal action vary based on how egregious the violation is.   In most cases, 'They tend to settle.', he says.   He claims that about 100 firms have had to change their hiring practices in response to suits he's filed.   'At one time we had 300 [law-suits] in the queue.   And we started filing them and at one point the government said, ''Please stop.'''...
when hiring contract workers, some companies limit their preferred vendors lists to firms that only hire H-1B workers, the so-called 'H-1B bodyshops'.   These larger firms might find themselves in legal hot water, Miano says.   'You know that when we do discovery on them, we're going to find some e-mail from somebody who says, ''How come you guys are only sending us people from companies that are sending us H-1B workers?'''...
the preferred vendor list system has become highly constrictive, establishing a near-stranglehold on contract IT hiring -- a large part of the tech industry...
'The prevailing wage claim averages about $18K a year less' than the American counterpart, Miano says.   In actual wages, this translates to salaries for H-1B workers that are about $12K less than comparable American workers...
'The majority of their wages are in the bottom 25th percentile of U.S. wages' of computer industry workers...
'In general, I think H-1B and off-shoring represent stupidity within the industry.', he says.   'I think they're symptomatic of much larger problems.'...
'It turns out that there's actually a huge variation in productivity among individual programmers.'   U.S. developers may cost more but they offer a 5 to 1 (or more) ratio of greater productivity.   Furthermore, due to cultural considerations, Americans programmers are quicker and better at understanding the needs of American clients."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
nice profile on John Miano

Good article, interesting reading, though with the to-be-expected inaccuracies here and there.   I'll focus on this one:
Before hiring an H-1B worker, American firms must make a good faith effort to hire a U.S. worker.   Yet apparently this doesn't always happen.   The Programmer's Guild (Miano is a board member) links to a controversial YouTube video that allegedly reveals how U.S. firms go through the motions of considering American workers -- placing ads, even interviewing -- yet actually are willing to hire only foreign workers.   (The company depicted in the video disputes the Guild's interpretation, saying its footage has been misused.)
First, many readers of this e-newsletter will notice that the author this the article is confusing H-1B work visas with employer-sponsored green cards.   The H-1B visa progam does not require the employer to recruit American workers (except for a small special category), while the employer-sponsored green card program does have such a requirement.
Second, even the green card program does not, in a technical sense, impose such a requirement on the employer.   The law requires the Secretary of Labor to determine that no qualified and willing American is available for the job before granting labor certification for the green card.   IOW, the onus is on DoL, not the employer.   DoL must then, as a administrative agency, decide to ensure that qualified and willing Americans are not being bypassed.   DoL does that by placing certain specific requirements on the employer, in terms of advertising the job, and so on.   But as the YouTube video showed, these requirements are riddled with loop-holes, and in all of the law, regulations, forms and so on, there is no place at which the employer must state that he sought U.S. workers in good faith before resorting to hiring a foreign national.   The only place in which the term "good faith" or equivalent appears is the H-1B exceptional category (for "H-1B-dependent" employers) mentioned above.   IOW, the law firm in the video did nothing illegal, reprehensible as their actions were.
Of course, the firm's claim that "its footage has been misused" is baloney.   Those who had not heard of "TubeGate" should read [my commentary].   There are direct quotes from the videos there, with contexts and full analysis.   There is also a link there to the videos themselves, in their entirety, and the firm's subsequent statements to the press regarding them.
The other point I wish to make about the article enclosed below is that it over-simplifies the prevailing wage loopholes issue.   The main message is correct -- employers use H-1Bs as cheap labor in full compliance with the law, by exploiting loopholes -- but the details provided are misleading.
I would also point out that abuse -- again, it's legal, but still abuse -- of the H-1B program is NOT limited... to the bodyshops.   John Miano points out that the big main-stream employers are complicit with the bodyshops, which is true, but it is very important to understand that the large firms directly hire their own H-1Bs for cheap labor too.   The big companies may hire a higher class of employee, say a master's degree holder, but they are still paying them less than what they would have to pay most Americans with master's degrees.

2007-12-05 07:34PST (10:34EST) (15:34GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US factory orders were up 0.5% in October
"Orders for defense capital goods shot up by 16%, also a three-month high, boosting the overall October number.   Excluding the defense orders, though, new orders for factory goods rose by 0.3%.   Orders for primary metals and electrical equipment also added to the overall increase.   Orders for metals rose 3.2%, while orders for electrical equipment, appliances and components climbed 2.9%."

2007-12-05 07:49PST (10:49EST) (15:49GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM services index fell from 55.8 in October to 54.1 in November

Jim Snyder _The Hill_
Executives lobbying for more guest-workers face resistance from public

Francine Knowles _Chicago Sun-Times_
Lay-off announcements up to 73,140 according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas
Manchester Guardian/Reuters
composite: "Companies announced plans to cut 73,140 jobs last month, up from 63,114 in October.   19,144 jobs were to be eliminated in the auto industry and 10,018 in energy industries.   Reductions in the financial services, which have totaled 147,395 so this year, slowed to just 6,953 in November, a big drop from the 24,479 cuts averaged over the previous 3 months.   Some 14,786 job cuts were announced by Illinois employers.   The cuts nationally were 4.7% below the 76,773 cuts announced in 2006 November.   Year to date, 723,848 job cuts were announced by employers, 7.8% lower than the same period last year.   In Illinois, 58,090 job cuts have been announced by companies based in the state this year.   In September a total of 1.9M workers were discharged from their jobs involuntarily, representing about 1.3% of total employment, according to the latest available data on mass lay-offs from large firms from the Labor Department.   By comparison, 2.7M people quit their jobs voluntarily in September."

2007-12-05 09:33PST (12:33EST) (17:33GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Productivity up a revised 6.3%, unit labor costs down 2% in 2007Q3
BLS data release

Liz Wolgemuth _Kane County Chronicle_
Illinois is losing high-wage jobs
"Between 1990 and 2007, Illinois lost 239K manufacturing jobs.   This loss of 26.0% of its in-state manufacturing jobs over 17 years was worse than both the Midwest as a whole (20.8%) or the nation generally (20.9%).   In 1990, Manufacturing in Illinois employed more workers than any other sector, 20.4% of the total.   By 2007, only 13.2% of the state's workers were employed in Manufacturing, and that sector ranked behind Professional and Business Services (17%) and Education and Health Services (15.1%), and was only marginally ahead of Retail Trade (12.2%).   Loss of Good Paying Jobs Although the pace of job loss in Manufacturing slowed after 2003, and even showed a slight up-tick in late 2006, otherwise lower-wage job creation has continued to dominate the Illinois labor market.   In the last six years, Illinois lost 142,200 jobs in Manufacturing, or 17.3% of its 2001 base.   Over the same period, Illinois added 1,580,600 lower-wage service jobs, a 9.6% growth rate.   By mid-2007, lower-wage service sectors accounted for 30.7% of all, non-agricultural, private-sector employment, significantly more than the 20.4% of total employment that Manufacturing had accounted for in 1990.   With the exception of Construction, the sectors with the largest gains in employment between 1990 and 2007 paid average weekly wages lower than those associated with the Manufacturing jobs that the state lost...   Measured in 'real dollars', i.e., dollars adjusted for the effect of inflation, only four sectors registered gains in earnings since 2001 - Construction, Education and Health Services, Financial Activities, and Transportation and Utilities.   The other 7 sectors experienced declines in real average weekly earnings.   The size of these declines ranged from a high of $118 (or -13.6%) in Information Services, to a low of $9 (or -3.5%) in Leisure and Hospitality.   As inflation-adjusted earnings of most Illinois workers have been declining, the cost of items that collectively constitute most of their family budgets have been increasing.   Significant increases in the cost of essentials like food (+23.5%), housing (+38.3%), health care (+44.7%), gas (+83.3%), and utilities (+43.0%) make it easy to appreciate how declining real wages have negatively impacted the standard of living for most working families.   While median household income in Illinois is higher than the rest of the Midwest and the nation as a whole, it is on the decline.   Measured in 2006 dollars, Illinois median household income peaked during 1999-2000.   Since then it dropped almost 11% by 2002-2003, and has since rebounded by only 1.3%, leaving it about 10% below the earlier peak...   The greatest part of this growth has been contributed by Hispanics, whose share nearly tripled to 11.2% in 2006.   The state's labor force has also become better educated.   In 2006, 33.8% had a college degree, while only 10.9% lacked a high school diploma.   On average, Hispanics are the state's youngest and least-educated workers.   Over one third (38.6%) of Hispanics in the workforce have not even completed high school, while another 31.4% have only a high school diploma.   At the other extreme, only 11.4% of Hispanics have a college degree or better.   African-Americans had a 10% unemployment rate in 2006, nearly triple that of Whites and almost double the Hispanic rate.   Since at least 1980, unemployment among African-Americans has been higher than the state's overall rate, which suggests that race plays a role in labor market outcomes...   Finally, it is worth noting that in the service sectors itemized in Table 6, Asians have higher average weekly earnings that Whites.   That pattern also occurs in other service activities that typically require higher levels of education.   For instance, in Information Services the average weekly earnings of Asians are $390 greater than Whites, and $236 greater in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services [bodyshopping]."

Philip Martin _Immigration Daily_
Farm Labor Shortages: How Real? What Response? (with graphs)
Center for Immigration Studies
American Renaissance
Front Page
"The average farm worker makes $9.06 an hour, compared to $16.75 for non-farm production workers.   Real wages for farm workers increased one-half of one percent (0.5%) a year on average between 2000 and 2006.   If there were a shortage, wages would be rising much more rapidly.   Farm worker earnings have risen more slowly in California and Florida (the states with the most fruit and vegetable production) than in the United States as a whole.   The average household spends only about $1 a day on fresh fruits and vegetables.   Labor costs comprise only 6% of the price consumers pay for fresh produce.   Thus, if farm wages were allowed to rise 40%, and if all the costs were passed on to consumers, the cost to the average household would be only about $8 a year.   Mechanization could offset higher labor costs."

Gary Danelishen _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
Austrian Economics vs. Bernanke's "economics"

2007-12-05 (5768 Kislev 25)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Income mobility
"In 1918, John D. Rockefeller's fortune accounted for more than 0.5% of total private wealth.   To compile the same 0.5% of the private wealth in the United States today, you'd have to combine the fortunes of MSFT's Bill Gates ($53G) and Paul Allen ($16G), Oracle's Larry Ellison ($19G), and a third of Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett's $46G.   In 1920, America's richest 1% held about 40% of private wealth; by 1980, the private wealth held by the richest 1% fell to about 20% and has remained stable at that level since."

2007-12-05 (5768 Kislev 25)
John Stossel _Jewish World Review_
Tragedy of the Commons part 2

  "The [Socialist Insecurity] Act of 1935 required that the government keep tabs on wages earned by every American worker, and keeping tabs meant using tabulating machines.   IBM [Ill-Begotten Monstrosities] won the contract, which meant that [it] linked itself to the only true growth industry of the 1930s - the government.   FDR's New Deal spawned dozens of new agencies to administer hundreds of new programs.   By the time the government filed its next suit against [it], late in 1952, 95% of the government's punch-card machines were leased from the company it was suing." --- Peter Baida _Poor Richard's Legacy_  



2007-12-06 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & 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 461,767 in the week ending Dec. 1, an increase of 137,638 from the previous week.   There were 448,898 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1% during the week ending Nov. 24, an increase of 0.4 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,731,681, an increase of 514,527 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.0% and the volume was 2,620,460.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending Nov. 17."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
"No means maybe, maybe means yes"?
The first H-1B increase was enacted near the end of 1998.   Bill Clinton's cabinet members repeatedly stated that year that he would not sign such legislation, but of course he did.   Ever since then, I look skeptically at politicians' statements that there won't be an H-1B increase in whatever Congress is in session at the time, and even more skeptically when they say, "There is still a chance we might get this through."
In 2004 there was H-1B in the "lame duck" session in December after Congress had already adjourned.   This added a new 20K-visa category for foreign grads of U.S. universities, and even worse, added yet another loop-hole to the prevailing wage requirement.
Keep these points in mind in reading the 2 articles [linked] below.   But even more importantly, note carefully that when the politicians say here legislation on H-1B is unlikely, they are NOT saying anything about employer-sponsored green cards, the proposed F-4 visa, and so on.   IOW, there could well be other legislation enacted that harms American programmers and engineers, even if nothing happens at all on H-1B.
Tom Abate _San Francisco Chronicle_
Bay Area Council weighs in on immigration policy
Eunice Moscoso _Atlanta Journal-Constitution_/_Cox_
High-tech executives scramble to boost H-1B visas

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1795
Pelosi tries to market open borders as "Noah's Ark"
"So now let's spell out the 'Noah's Ark' deal in plain English: Pelosi and Lofgren will give industry more H-1B, H-2A, and H-2B visas, and in return industry will give them the support they need to pass the DREAM act and amnesty.   That seems like a win-win deal for the open-border and cheap-labor lobby -- but they have one problem -- how do they convince a skeptical public to go along?   It simple actually -- they will fool the public by offering them some border security.   How much you want to bet that they will pledge to complete the border fence that was already mandated by Congress?   Folks, 'Noah's Ark' is a rotten deal for every American worker."

Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
Tech executives are lobbying presidential candidates in Iowa
shortened version of article
"candidates often stop by its offices, giving Scholten the opportunity to relate his IT workforce concerns directly to 3 Democratic candidates: New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and senators Barack Obama and Christopher Dodd...   Also in Des Moines is Dante Vignaroli, a mainframe developer for more than 30 years who lost his job to an H-1B worker.   Vignaroli was laid off in 1999 and has earned a living doing mostly contract work [being a body shopped] since then.   The candidates aren't knocking on his door, but that isn't stopping him from trying to meet them.   Vignaroli has talked to senator Joseph Biden, a Democrat, about H-1B visas, and he has twice discussed the issue with an Obama aide.   He has tried to raise the issue with senator Hillary Clinton, but his health won't allow him to stand in line long enough to meet her.   However, he says he has no intention of giving up on his mission to warn the candidates about H-1B visas.   'You don't just lose your job, it's like your whole country betrays you.', Vignaroli said...   Leann Jacobson, president of the Technology Association of Iowa.   IT companies employ [only] 46,350 people in the state and contribute $2.5G annually in wages.   The actual number of IT workers may be 3 times that figure...   In an association survey conducted last May that received 54 responses from IT executives, 86% of those polled [i.e. only 46] said they that have had trouble finding qualified employees among Iowa residents [but said nothing of trying to recruit from neighboring states or throughout the USA]."
Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
Gary Scholten, CIO at Principal Financial Group Inc., pays H-1b programmers only $43K while lobbying for more

S&P 5001,507.34
10-year US T-Bond4.00%
crude oil$90.23/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).


2007-12-07 07:54PST (10:54EST) (15:54GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 76.1 in late November to 74.5 in early December

Jack Date, Jason Ryan, Richard Sergay & Theresa Cook _abc_
Red Chinese hackers reached records of ORNL researchers/workers

2007-12-07 06:31PST (09:31EST) (14:31GMT)
Karen Robinson-Jacobs _Dallas Morning News_
Apple juice imported from Red China is cause for concern
"Over the past 10 years, [Red China], which produces up to 65% of the world's apples, has become the top supplier of concentrate used in apple juice sold in the U.S.A., contributing more than 40% of the juice consumed here, compared with 22% from domestically produced apples, according to the U.S. Apple Association trade group...   Many store brands use apple juice concentrate from [Red China], as do well-known names such as Motts, Tree Top, Welch's and Tropicana...   Between 1991 and 2006 the price growers received for juice apples fell by 41%, to $96.40 a ton, according to the USDA."

2007-12-07 (5768 Kislev 27)
Rabbi Avraham Pam _Jewish World Review_
Where and why Joseph ben Isaac went wrong

_Past Horizons_
mansion of queen Helena of Adiabene found a block or 2 south of Temple mount in Jerusalem

Aliya Sternstein _National Journal_
What Do U.S. Math And Science Scores Mean?
"low [average] U.S. test scores are largely due to the country's failure in reaching out to its under-class and immigrant population [both legal and illegal]...   University of Washington Computer Science Professor Ed Lazowska, a former co-chair of the now-defunct President's Information Technology Advisory Committee... While 'the best-prepared students in America are equal to the best in the world', he said, 'a greater and greater proportion of America's students are not being prepared at this level and are not being equipped for success'.   But former tech [cross-border bodyshopper] Vivek Wadhwa, now a Harvard University fellow and Duke University executive-in-residence, said he has become skeptical of conclusions like PISA's.   'Countries like Japan, Hong Kong and New Zealand that we keep comparing ourselves to have homogenous populations and few low-skilled immigrants.', he said.   'So comparing our diverse population to theirs is meaningless.'   Wadhwa sides with the Urban Institute study, which stated: 'The test results indicate that, rather than a policy focus on average science and math scores, there is an urgent need for targeted educational improvement to serve low-performing populations.'   Of the PISA findings, Wadhwa said the 'most relevant take-away is that we don't provide equal education to minorities and unskilled immigrants'.   According to PISA, U.S. students with an immigrant background, which represent 15% of those surveyed, trail considerably.   In the other countries, an average of 9.3% of students had immigrant backgrounds.   Also, the performance differences among U.S. schools largely can be attributed to socioeconomic factors, the results noted.   Norm Matloff said that the U.S. under-class, sadly, hurts the country's [average] scores on 'invalid' international comparisons like PISA.   'Let's get real here.', he said.   'India has a 40% illiteracy rate.   It would score horribly [on PISA] if it were willing to participate...   And yet they do produce good engineers anyway, in spite of their low averages.'   Mona Wineburg, the teacher-education director at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, said PISA 'is a well-respected measure of achievement, so I don't think we can ignore it.'   She added, 'I don't think we're going to have a wide of range of people entering these fields if we don't do something about' math and science education."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
another look at the PISA study of math and science education

This is an excellent article, taking a more nuanced view of the math/science education issue.
As we all know, the most central argument made by the industry lobbyists in favor of an expansive H-1B program is that "Johnny Can't Do Math", i.e. American kids do poorly in math and science at the K-12 levels, leading to a claimed shortage of engineers, to be remedied by more H-1Bs.
Recently the Urban Institute released a report whose careful, in-depth analysis showed that "Johnny" is actually OK at math, and moreover, that our universities are producing far more graduates in math and science than our economy can possibly use.   See my posting on it.
Soon afterward, the PISA study came out, with pundits/lobbyists spinning it as a rebuttal to the UI report.   The article enclosed below takes a closer look at the PISA study (which, by the way, had been discussed fairly extensively in the UI report).
To me, one of the most interesting parts of the article consists of quotes from professor Ed Lazowska of the University of Washington Computer Science Dept.   He has over the years been the most visible and ardent support of the H-1B program in all of academia.   And he has provided that support from positions of power, such as chairing the Board of the Computing Research Association (a consortium of university computer science departments), the CRA Governmental Affairs Committee (read: lobbying), various National Research Council committees, government panels and so on.   Probably not coincidentally, both he and his department have received much largesse from industry [executives].   (See my recent posting.)
Just recently Lazowska expounded on math/science education theme again, insisting (as I had predicted) that UI was painting with too broad a brush, and that we do have a shortage of engineers even if not one of biologists (see the above URL).
So, I was surprised, intrigued and pleased that the journalist here was able to extract from Lazowska a concession that our better-performing students are just as good as those of other nations at math and science.
This a crucial point, as it is THESE kids who go on to become engineers.
The fact that we are, unfortunately, failing to improve the performance of the weaker students, notably those from the socio-economic under-class, doesn't mean that we don't have enough good students to fill those engineering jobs.
Would that Ms. Sternstein's next piece feature a back-and-forth between Lazowska, who believes we have a shortage of engineers, and Wadhwa, who says we don't.   It would make great theater.

Employment/Un-Employment Data Released Today: See the Graphs

S&P 5001,504.66
10-year US T-Bond4.12%
crude oil$88.28/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).


Thomas Brewton _View from 1776_
Primary Perspective

Sarah Morin _Bloomington IN Herald Times_
Nearly 19K in area are un-employed or under-employed

Paul Craig Roberts _CounterPunch_
Off-Shoring Interests and Economic Dogma: Shrinking the US Dollar from the Inside-Out
V Dare
"Corporate interests continue to lobby Congress for more foreign workers, claiming a non-existent shortage of trained Americans, even as the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology concludes that real salary growth for American scientists and engineers has been flat or declining for the past 10 years.   The 'long trend of strong US demand for scientific and technical specialists' has come to an end with no signs of revival.   (See 'Job and Income Growth for Scientists and Engineers Comes to an End' Manufacturing & Technology News 2007 November 30.)   What economist has ever heard of a labor shortage resulting in flat or declining pay?"

Norm Matloff _H-1b/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
if only it were naivete...
It's bad enough when a naive journalist gets hood-winked by a slick PR pro, but far worse when the journalist ought to know better, as is the case with the [linked] blog.
Consider this passage:
According to the key findings in the report,"Driving Jobs and Innovation Off-Shore: The Impact of High Skill Immigration Restrictions on America", most legit American companies do not hire H-1B visa workers as a means to get cheap labor.
In fact, the report says "in examining all Department of Labor agency actions between 1992 and 2004" related to allegations of underpayment of wages, "the average amount of back wages owed to an H-1B employee was only $5,919".   Not exactly the tens of thousands of dollars H-1B critics often allege.
We "H-1B critics" have pointed out time and again that those violations of the law are irrelevant, because most MAJOR under-payment of H-1Bs is done via loop-holes, i.e. NOT in violation of the law.
Why do I say Ms. McGee knows this?   Because she herself has quoted us H-1B critics as saying so.   For instance on July 21 of this year she wrote:
But the most likely source of H-1B abuse pertains to the rule that employers pay the "prevailing wage" for skills in a certain geographic area.   That's a standard rife with loop-holes, says John Miano, founder of the Programmers Guild, which acts as an advocate for the software programming community.   Depending on available data, an employer can use the median wage for all U.S. employees working in an occupation and location, the average of an employer's current workers, or the Department of Labor's skills-based prevailing wage system.   Classifying workers in the lowest of those levels can mean paying them in the 15th to 20th percentile.   "Between all these measures, you usually have enough leeway to take $20K to $30K off the market wage without breaking the law in any detectable manner.", contends Miano.   Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology who's on leave as a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute [EPI], points to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service's [USCIS's] most recent report to Congress, which shows that the median wage in 2005 for new H-1B computing professionals was $50K.   That year, InformationWeek's Salary Survey found a median staff base salary of $69K and total cash compensation of $71K.
So, McGee not only quoted one of us H-1B critics as saying that employers can accrue major wage savings in a FULLY LEGAL manner via LOOP-HOLES, she even quoted another H-1B critic who illustrated this with InformationWeek's only salary survey.
She had written something similar last year, on 2006 July 13:
For instance, while the Dept. of Labor has 4 pay levels considered "prevailing wages" for programmers in San Jose, CA, employers can get away with paying H-1B workers the lowest wage level by watering down the position's 'required skills', education, experience, etc., says Berry.
More specifically, in San Jose, the Dept of Labor's 4 levels of "prevailing wages" for programmers range from $57,762 for level 1; $72,800 for level 2; $87,838 for level 3; and $102,877 for level 4.   The 4 different levels are based on skills, years of experience, education, and a few other things.
So, for instance, the loop-holes in DoL rules allow employers to hire foreign workers with PhDs in jobs paying the lowest wages as long as the position's job description doesn't require an advanced degree or "more than average experience", says Berry.
The guild wants Congress to close these pay loop-holes in any H-1B (or more comprehensive immigration) reform bill that gets passed.   Congress should redefine the lowest "prevailing wage" level for H-1B workers to be the "median" pay level U.S. workers earn in an occupation.
The guild wants Congress to close these pay loop-holes in any H-1B (or more comprehensive immigration) reform bill that gets passed.   Congress should redefine the lowest "prevailing wage" level for H-1B workers to be the "median" pay level U.S. workers earn in an occupation.
For employers in San Jose, that would mean paying an H-1B programmer a minimum of $83,500 annuallywhich is the median wage earned by American programmers in that occupation in that cityinstead of finagling to pay only $57,762, the lowest wage allowed today.   That would make employers think twice about whether they really "need" twice as many H-1B tech workers allowed into the U.S. each year, he says.
Again, the point is that the real salary savings comes from the loop-holes, in full compliance with the law, not the penny ante violations DoL finds.   In short: Employers don't have to violate the law, because the law is so lavishly generous to them in the first place.   If you illegally cheat a worker out of $5K, the DoL will swoop down on you, but if you obey the law you can under-pay the worker by $25K.   Only in America!
Just in case it wasn't clear: The violator saves $30K while the legally-compliant employer saves $25K.   Both make out like bandits, but only the one saving $30K is considered a "violator" [by the federal government].
So McGee had written on these issues twice, and not as short comments but in extensive detail.   She knew.
My other point is, what ever happened to journalists "following the money", in the famous Watergate line?   Why didn't McGee ask NFAP where it gets its funding?   Is NFAP really the "non-profit, non-partisan" organization McGee says it is?   Or is it funded by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (or AILF, its foundation), the industry lobbyists, etc.?   Anderson does NOT work for free, and his background makes it pretty clear to most of us that his shop is a lobbyist set-up:
NFAP is a one-man operation, that man being Stuart Anderson.   And though McGee describes the organization as "non-profit, non-partisan", that ain't the same as impartial, folks.   On the contrary, Anderson has been Mr. H-1B for years.   In 1997 Fall he wrote the pivotal report for the ITAA which that lobbying group used to convince Congress to enact the first major H-1B increase in 1998.   In 2000 he then became a staffer for then-Senator Spencer Abraham, and in that position Anderson authored the second major H-1B expansion enacted by Congress.   When Abraham's bid for re-election failed that year (in part because of Abraham's support of H-1B), Anderson then went to a top position in the Immigration and Naturalization Service.   As Washington Monthly reported in 2002 May:
The best analogy I can draw about Stuart Anderson is something that an INS agent said to me: If you were going to hire someone to run the DEA, you wouldn't pick somebody who favors legalizing drugs.", says a top Republican aide on the Hill.   "And by putting Stuart Anderson in a ranking position in the INS, you've essentially done the same thing -- you've got somebody who favors open borders running the agency that regulates the borders."
Yes, technically NFAP is "non-profit, non-partisan" -- after all, the Democrats have been just as corrupted by industry campaign contributions on the H-1B issue as the Republicans -- but NFAP is absolutely not impartial.   And the Anderson "study" on which McGee bases this blog shamelessly quotes others with highly vested interests (e.g. he quotes as an authority lawyer Warren Leiden, not mentioning that Leiden has been one of the immigration lawyers associations top lobbying forces on H-1B), egregiously misrepresents data and so on.
We hear a lot these days that newspapers are dying because young people don't read.   Yes, some of that is indeed due to the younger set's fondness for iPods, but a lot of it also stems from the fact that they just plain don't trust the press.   Well, why the heck should they?
Is The H-1B Visa Cap Capping U.S. Innovation?: Yes, because it is so high it has kept bright, creative, well-educated US citizens unemployed


Steve Sailer _V Dare_
2006's Demographic Death Spiral


John Stossel, Andrew Sullivan & Ron Paul _abc_
Interviews of Ron Paul
"the Texas Republican believes that the most effective way that a president can lead is by protecting basic freedoms, and relying on... citizens to sort out the rest."

Thor H. Asgardson _American Chronicle_
What is relevant is whether that candidate will defend the Constitution of the United States of America
"The true battle of our people, is the treason by our public servants, which destroys us from within."


Pat Ferrier _Coloradoan_
Almost 30K in northern Colorado are under-employed
"the region is struggling to rebound from the loss of thousands of high-tech manufacturing jobs in the past few years and there's more work to be done to connect employers with workers, said Maury Dobbie, president and CEO of Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp...   Workers are considered under-employed if they are currently working but have the skills, experience and education to qualify for higher paying jobs, according to the survey.   Coupled with the 15,800 unemployed workers looking for jobs, the 24,800 under-employed residents and 5,300 people who might re-enter the work force for the right job, the region has a pool of nearly 46K workers ready to fill positions that might come open...   The survey numbers were of little surprise to Peter Olins, president of Northern Colorado Network, of NoCoNet, a networking group for professionals who are between jobs, looking for jobs or support as they work through unemployment.   The group has seen a continual stream of high-tech workers forced into early retirement, Olins said.   'These are highly skilled people... with very senior positions.   Given the size of the economy around here, it's a lot harder for those folks to find something comparable.'   The study shows that 27% of Northern Colorado's under-employed have a bachelor's degree; 21% have an associate's; and 27% report 'some college, but no degree'... 9,900 - number of under-employed who have an average of 8 years experience in manufacturing/assembly/ fabrication.   5,700 - number who have 9 years experience in information technology."

Chuck Baldwin _V Dare_
Government Cannot Do the Church's Job

Michelle Malkin _V Dare_
The GOP's Border Control Dissemblers


2007-12-12 03:16PST (06:16EST) (11:16GMT)
Simon Kennedy _MarketWatch_
US foreclosures up 31.8% to 72,101 in November
"For the first 11 months of the year, around 527K homes [were foreclosed]."

2007-12-12 07:21PST (10:21EST) (15:21GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Import prices up 2.7%, export prices up 0.9% in November
"Import prices have now risen 11.4% in the past year, the largest gain in the 25-year history of the import price index.   Import prices increased a downwardly revised 1.4% in October... Prices received by U.S. producers also jumped in November, rising 0.9%, the biggest increase in 12 years. Export prices are up 6.1% in the past year, also the largest yearly gain in 12 years. Prices of agricultural exports rose 1.4%, the sixth straight month of 1%-plus gains. Agricultural export prices are up 23% in the past year, reflecting the weaker dollar and the boom in commodity prices... Prices of imported goods from Japan fell 0.1%, while prices of Chinese goods rose 0.2%, the seventh straight increase. The dollar has barely budged against the [Red Chinese] renminbi."

2007-12-12 11:26PST (14:26EST) (19:26GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Federal Reserve and top Canadian & European central banks release $64G into credit markets

2007-12-12 11:39PST (14:39EST) (19:39GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Trade deficit widened in October to $57.8G
BEA press release

2007-12-12 13:36PST (16:36EST) (21:36GMT)
Stephanie Overby _CIO_/_IDG_
Georgia is latest state government to out-source IT
"11 state agencies currently do the bulk of Georgia's IT spending -- two-thirds of the total $617M annual spend.   Perdue plans to restructure the centralized Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) to address that situation first.   The new GTA will then bring in IT services providers (plural) to bid on the IT services work.   The out-sourcing contracts (again, plural) will be awarded late next year...   A total of 1,100 state technology workers will be affected by the consolidation and outsourcing moves.   Approximately 20% of the workforce will be eligible for retirement next year; their positions will disappear.   Some employees will be shifted to the private companies who win the GTA contracts.   And a total of 200 workers will be without a job."

_PR News Wire_/_US News Wire_
22 Talk Radio Hosts Invite Candidates to Talk About Immigration
"Last April, talk radio personalities came to Washington, DC, to discuss immigration policy with the folks back home and changed the course of the debate.   Talk radio spoke to millions of Americans -- the people government officials serve -- and, as a result, millions of Americans communicated a simple message to their elected representatives loudly and clearly: No amnesty for illegal aliens.   No massive new guest worker programs for cheap labor interests.   Enforce our immigration laws now.   On December 27 and 28, talk radio is coming to Des Moines, Iowa, to discuss immigration policy with the people of Iowa and Americans all across the country.   As Americans prepare to make critical decisions about leadership in 2008, they want to hear what their public servants have to say.   Iowa 2007 Talk Radio Row (housed at the Des Moines Downtown Marriot) will showcase 22 talk hosts from across Iowa and America broadcasting continuously for 2 days from 08:00 to 21:00 Central.   The event will provide a convenient forum for public officials from all over the county to tell listeners how they will handle this critical issue if they remain in office.   Citizens in Iowa and around the nation want real answers and real solutions for our nation's broken immigration policies.   A Des Moines Register poll found that 67% of Democrats and 81 percent of Republicans rated immigration as a 'key campaign issue'.   Iowa 2007 Talk Radio Row is an opportunity for officials to speak directly to their bosses..."

Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Book Picks 2007

James Salzer _Atlanta GA Journal Constitution_
Off-Shoring: New Tech Program Will Force Lay-Offs

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_
Articles placed by lobbyists for the Forces of Evil [FOE]
"Lots of articles are being published about the H-1B issue, but unfortunately most of them are nothing but transparent shill plants by the cheap labor lobby.   One of the things you will see in many of them is more hype about the European blue card (see news-letter 'Blue Card, Green Card, Pink Card, 2007/10/25').   The only article in this group that comes close to being objective is #6 by Thibodeau.   Be sure to read the heated comments being left on #9 and #10."
Titles corrected by jgo:
Article 1: Speaking Of Lack of Competition
Article 2: A small minority of senators urge H-1B visa program expansion
Article 3: The global surfeit of talent
Article 4: Is The Excessive H-1B Visa Cap Capping U.S. Innovation?
Article 5: Europe Wants World's Brightest As America Continues to Be Flooded with Cheap & Mediocre Foreign Labor
Article 6: National tech policy battle plays out in Iowa as caucus nears
Article 7: The visa excess: Big problem, easy fix
Article 8: Legal foreign workers face visa delays, while US workers are left out to dry
Article 9: 'Tis the Season For Mud-Slinging
Article 10: Is the Excessive H-1B Visa Cap Capping U.S. Innovation?

Dave Gorak _V Dare_
Report from America: Owen's Barber Shopin Reedsburg, WI

  "[Socialism requires] the substitution of government direction for the play of individual action, and the attempt to secure by restriction what can better be secured by freedom...   Whatever savors of regulation and restriction is in itself bad." --- Henry George  



2007-12-13 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & 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 421,971 in the week ending Dec. 8, a decrease of 41,920 from the previous week.   There were 384,123 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending Dec. 1, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,628,518, a decrease of 105,049 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,436,936.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending Nov. 24."

2007-12-13 13:06PST (16:06EST) (21:06GMT)
Julie Vorman & Karey Wutkowski _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
Dollar Tree recalls 300K toys made in Red China due to lead in paint
"The CPSC also issued a recall for about 1K pieces of [Red Chinese]-made Codeena Princess children's metal jewelry because it contains high levels of lead."

Shawn Lawrence Otto _Salon_
Let's have a presidential debate on science

Michael J. Boskin _Wall Street Journal_/_Hoover Institution_
How NOT to fix the economy

Ron Paul
Introducing the Free Competition in Currency act
"This act would eliminate 2 sections of US Code that, although ostensibly intended to punish counterfeiters, have instead been used by the government to shut down private mints.   As anti-counterfeiting measures, these sections are superfluous, as 18 USC 485, 490, and 491 already grant sufficient authority to punish counterfeiters."

Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Are Muslims the New Swing Vote? Stay Tuned
"estimates range from 1.9M to 7M...   At the low end, 1.9M, is the 'best estimate' of a National Opinion Research Center study commissioned by the American Jewish Congress shortly after [the terrorist attacks of 2001-09-11].   Muslim groups jumped on the AJC figure as an attempt to "marginalize" Islam in the U.S.A. ['Number of U.S. Muslims Depends on Who's Counting' by Bill Broadway Washington Post 2001-11-24]   At the high end a study co-sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR], and released in 2001 April, estimated that 7M Muslims were living in the U.S.A."


Beryl Lieff Benderly _Science_
Rising Above "The Gathering Storm"
see also: Heavenly Labs, how to find them and Hellish Labs, how to escape them (pdf)

2007-12-14 04:58PST (07:58EST) (12:58GMT)
Aude Lagorce _MarketWatch_
"Made in America" is in demand
"The dollar has lost roughly 20% against the euro in the last 2 years.   It's also declined about 14% against the British pound...   'We need high volume in the dollar zone.', he reportedly said."

Paul Craig Roberts _On-Line Journal_
Off-shoring interests and economic dogmas are destroying the US dollar
V Dare

"Info-Tech-Guy" _Programmers Guild_
How to keep IT workers
Techs Unite

2007-12-14 13:43PST (16:43EST) (21:43GMT)
Brian Bergstein _AP_
1 in 4 Ill-Begotten Monstrosities employees is now in India

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
4th Annual Worst Immigration Reporting Award
"The winner is -- hands down -- Nina Bernstein of the New York Times.   Unlike past years when I had to review my files and folders chock full of unprofessional stories before selecting the winner, Bernstein (send her e-mail here) made my job easy.   During 2007 Bernstein wrote, by my count, 42 immigration stories -- all of them rotten...   From her first story in January, a tear jerker about baby Yuki Lin... to her latest (as of this posting) on December 4, Brazilians Giving Up Their American Dream -- the title says it all -- Bernstein stunk up the joint...   you have to read carefully through a trained eye to spot her deceptions...   Of the 8 people Bernstein quotes in her story; 6 of them are pro-immigration.   To make it worse, the first 3 (!) listed by Bernstein favor more immigration: David V. Aguilar, chief of the Border Patrol at Homeland Security and 2 California U.S. representatives with 'D-' grades at Americans for Better Immigration, Linda Sanchez and Zoe Lofgren...   Bernstein's story is flawed in its very premise.   Today's argument is not about whether more 'immigrants' (no, they're illegal aliens!) should be let in legally through ports of entry but instead how to end illegal immigration and what to do about those who are here illegally.   A national debate about legal immigration does need to start.   But Bernstein incorrectly gives the impression that it is under-way...   The great news is that despite her massive output of pap, Bernstein was unable to achieve her coveted goal and that of her employer..."

S&P 5001,467.95
10-year US T-Bond4.23%
crude oil$91.27/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).


2007-12-14 22:51EST) (2007-12-15 03:51GMT)
Brittany Woodby _Cullman AL Times_
3,200 locals under-employed
"The 2007 information estimated Cullman county has a civilian labor force of 40K with 1,200 of those people unemployed.   However, Greer said the study shows potential employers they could also recruit from a pool of 3,200 under-employed workers.   The median current pay rate of the under-employed workers is $13.50 per hour and the median desired pay rate of the under-employed workers is $13.99.   Of the under-employed workers in the county, 40% have some college education but do not have a degree. 32% are high-school graduates or hold a GED...   The majority of under-employed workers have an average of 11 years of experience in manufacturing, assembly and fabrication.   Another 1K under-employed people have an average of 10 years experience in warehouse, distribution and transportation work...   Approximately 80% of employers rated the workforce as good to excellent in productivity, reliability and attitude...   In the fields of medicine and health sciences, and warehouse and distribution, Cullman County has above the median percentage of other surveyed cities in skilled, experienced, under-employed workers."

2007-12-15 09:01PST (12:01EST) (17:01GMT)
Nick Godt _MarketWatch_
USA gets shafted, again, by UN in Bali: Son of Kyoto Discord

_Madison Wisconsin Capital Times
For a new trade debate
"Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd -- all of whom have disappointing records on trade policy -- skipped the Senate vote on the Peru Trade Agreement, where they could have explicitly rejected the NAFTA model for trade policy that they all criticize on the campaign trail."

Bob McCarty
Bill of Rights Ratified 216 Years Ago Today
"Article the first... After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one representative for eveyr thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which, the proportion shall be so regulated by congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred representatives, nor less than one representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of representatives shall amount to two hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by congress, that there shall not be less than 200 representatives, nor more than one preresentative for every fifty thousand persons.
Article the second... No law, varying the compensation for the servics of the senators and representatives, shall take effect until an election of representatives shall have intervened. [Ratified 1992]
Article the third... Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Article the fourth... A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
Article the fifth... No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Article the sixth... The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized..."

Adam Jones _Date-Line Alabama_
New graduates' employment outlook expected to improve as baby boomers retire
Brown Daily Herald
Daily Pennsylvanian
"Companies are predicted to hire 2% more of college graduates of all levels and 7% more of bachelor's degree recipients in the coming year over this past year, according to an annual report on labor recruiting trends from Michigan State University. But large companies -- those with 3,900 employees or more -- ...expect to increase hiring for candidates with bachelor's degrees by 9%, according to the survey of 994 companies... Phillip Gardner, author of the report and director of MSU's Collegiate Employment Research Institute."

Steven A. Camarota _Center for Immigration Studies_
Excess immigration, both legal and illegal, puts huge strain on the country

Here Comes Another Bubble (video)

  "1324(a)(1)(A) Any person who... (iv) encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law... shall be punished as provided in subparagraph (B). (B) A person who violates subparagraph (A) shall, for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs... be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both." --- 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A) and (B)  



Jennifer Loven _AP_/_Sky Valley Local News Watch_
Bush & Garcia Signed US-Peru trade pact Friday
"The Senate approved the agreement, 77-18, on Dec. 4.   That followed a 285-132 House vote last month."

Jose Antonio Vargas _Washington Post_
Ron Paul tea party raised some $4.3M
"On Nov. 5, which was Guy Fawkes Day, a symbol of rebellion in British history, Paul hauled in $4.3M in 24 hours [from some 37K donors] -- the most money raised on-line by a candidate in a single day.   Today, the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, the day that helped spark the American Revolution, Paul's web-savvy, intensely loyal supporters planned another 'money-bomb'.   And by 21:00EST (18:00PST) (02:00GMT), the 'Paulites' had raised more than $5M from more than 30K donors [about $168 apiece], bringing the Texas Republican's fund-raising total this quarter to nearly $17M.   And counting."


Tony Tagliavia _WOOD TV_
David Paul cheers on brother from Ottawa county Michigan home: average donation about $50

ThomasBrewton _View from 1776_ Pope vs. Times Editors

David Meyer _Ziff Davis_
FireWire speeds set to quadruple
"On Thursday, the 1394 Trade Association announced the S3200 electrical specification for FireWire.   The specification builds upon the existing IEEE 1394b standard by boosting the maximum speed from 800 megabits per second to 3.2Gbps.   Importantly, S3200 can use the cables and connectors already in use for FireWire 800 products, the association claimed."

_Ziff Davis_/_Reuters_
Iran shuts down 24 Internet cafes in crack-down
"The action in Tehran province was the latest move in a campaign against practices deemed incompatible with Islamic values, including women not adhering to strict dress codes and barber shops offering men Western hair styles...   police had inspected 435 coffee shops in the past 24 hours and that 170 had been warned...   many web sites considered unIslamic are blocked by the authorities."

Larry Dignan _Ziff Davis_
Ohio released study of voting machine security
report (pdf)

2007-12-17 (5768 Teves 08)
Joel Brinkley _Jewish World Review_
Portrayal of America in Arab press: Hypocrisy reigns


James Beltran _AP_/_Tampa Tribune_
Ron Paul campaign raised $6.2M Sunday, $18.2M so far in 4th quarter

Frederic J. Frommer _San Francisco Examiner_
$516G interim appropriations catch-all approved by US House
Sacramento Bee
Lebanon Daily News
Brattleboro Reformer
Johnstown PA Tribune-Democrat
Cedar Rapids Gazette
Composite: "Minnesota would receive $195M to help replace the fallen I-35W bridge, as well as $50M in [money for 'security'] for next year's Republican National Convention and $343K for a Sacramento food bank, $14.24M for beach replenishment, $5.6M for the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Cancer Institute, $664K for the 1.3-mile water line from nearby Reading Mines to Stoystown, $13.2M in funding for a new Iowa City Readiness Center for the Iowa National Guard, $2.6G in Low-Income Home Energy Assistance under a year-end budget bill passed by the House of Representatives late Monday.   Money for both projects has been kicking around Capitol Hill for months, but the $516G-plus catch-all spending bill might represent its best chance for getting through Congress and approved by President Bush."

_Charleston Daily Mail_
Turkey sent troops into 1.5 miles into northern Iraq against Kurdish troops, as compared to 30 mile incursions of Mexican army into USA

John McCaslin _Town Hall_
Is Nancy Pelosi coming unhinged?
to which a commenter asked: "When was she hinged?"

Richard Wolf _USA Today_
Americans' approval of Congress at new low, disapproval at new high
tabulated results

_International Herald Tribune_/_AP_
Proceedings postponed after guilty verdict in US slavery case
"Varsha Mahender Sabhnani, who is also from Indonesia, collapsed into the chest of her Indian-born husband, Mahender Murlidhar Sabhnani, after a jury found them guilty Monday of all charges in a 12-count federal indictment that included forced labor, conspiracy, involuntary servitude and harboring aliens."

Zhou Xin & Jason Subler _Manchester Guardian_
New Red Chinese labor law gives business executives the jitters
"'To be frank, in the processing trade here, the biggest advantage was cheap labour. But now that's going to change.', said Hsieh Ching-yuan, vice-president of the Taiwan Businessmen's Association in Dongguan, an industrial hub in the Pearl River Delta in southern [Red China]...   Firms have been scrambling to adapt to -- or circumvent -- the law, which was passed last June and takes effect on Jan. 1.   Companies from IT equipment makers to liquor producers have been playing a 'fire and hire' game, rushing to terminate existing contracts and rehire staff on new contracts to start the clock ticking anew on their length of service.   Huawei Technologies Co Ltd made headlines by requiring some 7K employees with more than eight years' service to 'voluntarily resign' and reapply for their jobs."

Justin James _Tech Republic_/_Ziff Davis_
Capitol One: What's in your data-base?

Budget buffoonery as admin isn't keeping its own house

Andrew Taylor _Time_/_AP_
Senate approved $555G interim omnibus appropriation bill
Composite: "the bill spends too much money and contains [some 8,983 to 11,043] pet projects [a.k.a. turkeys, a.k.a. ear-marks, a.k.a. pork] sought by members of Congress. But Fermi lab funding would be cut by $62M."

Stephen Losey _Federal Times_
Appropriations bill would thwart pay for performance at DHS

Marisa Palmieri _Lawn & Landscape_
H-2B changes stripped from House interim omnibus appropriations bill

Michelle Malkin _V Dare_
The Incredible Disappearing Border Fence

Kartik B. Ariyur _View from 1776_
Reassessing Representative Ron Paul's Policy Positions
"But then, most aren't willing to take risks, and freedom is risky, and it takes courage to take risks with your own life or property (unlike the banks or many corporate executives, who are not capitalists because they do not risk their own money—they are politicians)."

Vince Wade _YouTube_
Red China milks our sacred cows

Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
Honest and Dishonest use of H-1B statistics

2007-12-18 (5768 Teves 09)
Daniel Pipes _Jewish World Review_
US tax-victim funded open spigot must be closed now (with graphs)

2007-12-18 (5768 Teves 09)
John Stossel _Creators Syndicate_
interview of Ron Paul, Dr. No (R-Lake Jackson, TX)
Jewish World Review

2007-12-18 (5768 Teves 09)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Academic intimidation

_Civil Connection_/_Civil Engineering News_
There is no shortage of US citizen science and engineering graduates


2007-12-18 16:49PST (2007-12-18 19:49EST) (2007-01-19 00:49GMT) George Merritt _Yahoo!_/_AP_
Some Colorado voting machines decomissioned as unreliable
"Secretary of State Mike Coffman decertified 3 of the 4 voting equipment manufacturers allowed in the state, affecting 6 of Colorado's 10 most populous counties.   'the federal certification process is inadequate.', he said...   Only Premier (Diebold) had all its equipment pass the recertification."

_Fire Society_
Secure Fence Funding Scam of 2007

_Wheeling News-Register_
Congress still refusing to stop invasion
Cybercast News Service
News Max

_National Writers Union_
Frequently Stated Misconceptions: Off-Shoring of High-Tech and Professional Jobs

_Movement pour une Union Nationale et Collegiale des Informaticiens_
Etude: Pas de pénurie d'informaticiens... aux Etats-Unis
"There is no shortage of engineers in the United States says a study by researchers at Duke University."

2007-12-19 06:56PST (09:56EST) (14:56GMT)
Red China's new site to report graft was overwhelmed by traffic

Vince Wade _YouTube_
Gee! How were we to know?: Red Chinese espionage in US academia

Carol Swain _News Release Wire_
Lou Dobbs and his detractors

Alison Overholt _Fast Company_
The Labor-Shortage Myth

2007-12-19 (5768 Teves 10)
John Stossel _Jewish World Review_
Ron Paul on war

2007-12-19 (5768 Teves 10)
Walter E. Williams, PhD _Jewish World Review_
Academic slums

  "[In business] the first thing is character...   Before anything else.   Money cannot buy it...   Because a man I do not trust could not get money from me on all the bonds of Christendom." --- John Pierpont Morgan  



2007-12-19 23:00PST (2007-12-20 02:00EST) (2007-12-20 07:00GMT)
Phyllis Schlafly _Conservative Voice_
Tech Executives Lie About H-1B Visas
"The technology industry has dispatched its wallet-filled lobbyists to demand that the new Congress vastly increase the number of foreign computer software techies and engineers who can be imported on H-1B visas.   This demand is based on the claim that we suffer a labor shortage in those fields, but that's a bare-faced lie to erect a smoke-screen around the real reasons.   Three reasons motivate the tech giants to use their political clout and PAC contributions to increase H-1Bs.
(a) Cost-cutting: H-1Bers are paid much less than Americans.
(b) The influx of H-1Bers depresses the 'prevailing wage' for all computer techies and engineers.
(c) The hiring of H-1Bers prevents potential competition from Americans who might resign to work for other firms or start companies of their own.   H-1B visas are not for entrepreneurs or executives, but are for employees who are tied to the company that imports them (much like indentured servants) and are supposed to depart from the United States after a few years...   Nobel economist Milton Friedman labeled H-1Bs a government subsidy to enable employers to get workers at a lower wage.   America has more than enough U.S. engineers.   After the dot com bust in 2000, Silicon Valley lost about 100K engineering jobs, and many of those who lost out are unemployed or underemployed or have taken jobs in other industries.   Research by Professor Norm Matloff of the University of California/Davis confirms that there is no shortage of U.S. engineers or computer techies.   If there were a shortage, salaries would be going up, but starting salaries for bachelor's degree graduates in computer science and electrical engineering, adjusted for inflation, are flat or falling.   A major study made by the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University also found that there is no shortage of U.S. engineers.   80% of respondents to a Pratt survey say U.S. engineering jobs are filled within 4 months, and 88% didn't offer signing bonuses.   Many companies hire student engineers from India and [Red China] with only 2 or 3 years of college and then train them in their own facilities.   U.S. students with 2 or 3 years of college get no job offers...   H-1Bs are a form of servitude that offends the free enterprise that made us the economic leader of the world."

2007-12-20 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & 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 390,586 in the week ending Dec. 15, a decrease of 32,797 from the previous week.   There were 361,672 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending Dec. 8, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,708,998, an increase of 85,510 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.0% and the volume was 2,577,271.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending Dec. 1."

Tom Tancredo, opponent of illegal immigration, withdrawed from run for President
"Of the likely Republican Iowa caucus-goers interviewed for the poll, 20% said immigration was the most important issue in deciding who they will support.   Only caucus-goers who cited economic issues as their biggest concern was a larger group at 25 percent.   Earlier this week, representative Steve King of Iowa, a friend of Tancredo's who shares his tough approach on immigration, announced he was backing former senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee..."

Doublas McLeod _WorkForce_
Former HR Chief at AIG, Others Charged in Alleged Head-Hunting Scam
"According to a federal criminal complaint, Falcetta moved from Philadelphia to New York to take his job with AIG in September 2005.   His duties included managing contracts with employee search firms, and he had the authority to add firms to AIG's approved list of vendors and to pay vendor bills up to $50K.   Over the next two years, until AIG terminated him in August, Falcetta approved payments to bogus headhunter firms set up by Santone, Pombonyo and Broadbent, authorities allege.   Those payments included $320,525 to G. Santone Associates, run by Santone; $674,886 to two firms, Enterprise Business Group and Global Search Affiliates Inc., run by Pombonyo; and $120K to Broadbent Advisory Group, run by Broadbent, the complaint says.   The 4 companies then kicked back $462,476 to Human Capital Management Partners, an entity Falcetta had created, authorities charge.   None of the search firms actually performed any work for AIG, and at least some of them appear to exist only on paper, the complaint suggests.   The address Broadbent Advisory gave on its invoices, for example, is a residence belonging to Broadbent's mother, and its fax number is registered to a Dunkin' Donuts store in Philadelphia, the complaint says.   The fax number on Santone & Associates' bills belonged to a Philadelphia jewelry store."

Vince Wade _YouTube_
Shaft Our State

Brenda Walker _V Dare_
Letting Red China Walk Over the USA
"The membership (which is actually 149) represents a variety of professions. But business leaders predominate rather than scientists or artists.   In reality, the Committee of 100 appears to be just another ethnic Chamber of Commerce, only with more attitude."


2007-12-21 06:55PST (09:55EST) (14:55GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Real disposable incomes fell 0.3% from October to November, but inflation adjusted spending increased 0.5%

2007-12-21 07:43PST (10:43EST) (15:43GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index rose from 74.5 earlier in December to 75.5 in late December
Federal Reserve Board St. Louis
Federal Reserve Board St. Louis

Vince Wade _YouTube_
US executives are shafting the nation

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
2007 In Review: Immigration Patriots Demolish Treason Lobby
"We had a great 2007!   And especially so considering that we started on January 1st as a twenty-eight-point under-dog to the Treason Lobby -- despite having established our strength over the last two years when we crushed S2611 and S1438 amnesties in 2006 and 2005 respectively.   This year, proving that the prior 2 years were no fluke, we kicked their sorry butts up one side of the field and down the other."

S&P 5001,484.46
10-year US T-Bond4.17%
crude oil$93.31/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).


David Graper _Albany Times Union_
Visa program only replaces/displaces American workers
"Your Dec. 16 article, 'Locking out the best and brightest', a thinly veiled pro-corporate plea for accelerating the pace of replacing American workers with lower-cost foreign workers, should at best have been featured on your editorial page and not on your newspaper's front page.   The article starts by covering one unfortunate, but unique visa problem, for one extraordinary individual who will be serving as a vice president at the University at Albany and then hastily generalizing it into an argument for weakening the already-abused H-1B technical worker program.   It's a fiction that we suffer from a shortage of skilled labor.   We have a shortage of jobs with employers willing to pay prevailing American wages.   The H-1B program is being seriously and openly abused to permit foreign workers to fill entry-level tech jobs at cut-rate prices, creating the new class of 'indentured servants' mentioned by the single opposing voice featured in your article, while at the same time corporations are laying off American workers in droves.   If you want proof that the jobs aren't out there and that we hardly need to open the flood-gates for foreign technical workers, take a look at your own newspaper: How many jobs were you advertising for Information Technology positions in the same issue head-lined by this article?   I counted 6, hardly proof that IT jobs go begging in the Capital Region, which have to be filled by foreign applicants to improve our 'competitiveness'."

Rachelle Younglai _Scientific American_/_Reuters_
FBI building biometric data-base
Tampa Tribune
News Max
Liberty Papers
ars technica
"The FBI has already started compiling digital images of faces, finger-prints and palm patterns in its systems, the paper said...   In January, the agency expects to award a 10-year contract to expand the amount and kinds of biometric information it receives...   At any employer's request, the FBI will also retain the finger-prints of employees who have under-gone criminal background checks, the paper said...   called Next Generation Identification...   already contains 55M sets of electronic finger-prints...   Certain aspects of the FBI's track record in recent years make this proposal even less attractive.   In 2003, the FBI exempted its National Crime Information Center, the Central Records System, and the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime from subsection (e) (5) of the 1974 Privacy Act.   That particular subsection mandates that each agency that maintains a system of records shall 'maintain all records which are used by the agency in making any determination about any individual with such accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness as is reasonably necessary to assure fairness to the individual in the determination.'"
privacy links

John Miano _V Dare_
More "Blue Card" Baloney from Intel & the Washington Post


Eric Thorkildsen _Albany Times Union_
Shortage of pay for engineers
"Your Dec. 16 article 'Locking out the best and brightest' misses the point on highly skilled labor such as engineers.   We need to look for foreign workers to fill the needs here in this country simply because we do not currently compensate our engineers fairly.   I am an engineer as is my wife.   We have three boys and, unfortunately, we are not steering any of them into engineering.   The reason is you work twice as hard to get your degree and only make half as much as others.   We are currently looking for new engineers at my firm and have offered RPI students the going rate of about $46K a year to start.   That equates to one year's tuition and costs, can you imagine?   The real crime is that 10 years later, you are making $65K, a very flat curve.   I know many engineers and no one wants their children to be engineers.   This is a shame and must be investigated.   Trying to compensate by allowing more foreign engineers into this country worsens the problem.   One must only think of the recent I-35W bridge collapse in Minnesota to think of engineers' value to society.   Let the shortage happen, so wages dramatically rise as happened in the pharmaceutical industry.   Then you will see the large influx of new local engineering students once the word gets out."


_Happy News_
Academics join to endorse Ron Paul
Academics for Paul
""Americans have lost faith in politicians, and for good reasons.   Taxes, spending, and the national debt continue to rise, special interest bribes riddle the Congress, courts, and executive branch, and our schools are in shambles.   Yet our government continues to wage a ceaseless assault on the American people's rights to make their own choices.   It has done so through the USA Patriot Act, the REAL ID Act, the War on Drugs, McCain-Feingold, and countless other initiatives.   The endless and inept foreign policy of interventionism of the establishment politicians has put our country in grave danger not only of a destructive war with Iran but a new financial crisis.   The 2008 election thus comes at a critical time in the history of the United States and the world.   We endorse Ron Paul for president because we believe he is the candidate best able to solve these profound problems.   We come from a broad and diverse range of academic fields and specialties.   We unite under the banner of liberty and are proud to announce our support for Ron Paul."

Mark Coleman _Lew Rockwell_
Tim Russert's body language while interviewing Ron Paul
"I thought the interesting thing about the Tim Russert 'interview' of Ron Paul was Russert's body language.   I don't usually watch the program, so I was wondering, does he always keep his head down -- for almost the entire interview? He never seemed really relaxed until the very end, when he finally lifted his head so that we could see his eyes and he smiled a bit.   His interviewing demeanor seemed somewhat amateurish and unprofessional.   Incidentally, did you catch it when Paul was explaining his position about the CIA ,and before he could even finish, Russert says, 'What about public education?' (as part of his plan, evidently, to catch Paul on something).   It was bizarre.   Paul continued speaking about the CIA, then finally moved on the public education question, as a courtesy to Russert.   Also, FYI, in case you didn't notice, Paul got a lot of face time on TV yesterday.   First, the 'Meet the Press' interview in the morning.   Then in mid afternoon, my father calls me to tell me that CNN is rerunning the 1-hour Glenn Beck interview.   Then a few hours later, my son calls me to tell me they're running the Glenn Beck interview again!   And finally, the Tim Russert interview was rebroadcast.   So I saw extensive interviews with Paul on TV yesterday 4 times!   I don't know if it's usual for CNN to rerun the Beck interviews twice on Sundays, but either way I thought it was a good day for Ron Paul." [They're playing them because they mistakenly believe that these interviews make Ron Paul look bad... jgo]

Tim Morgan _National Ledger_
Ron Paul Christmas Celebration: McCain may be spoiler
"as Paul supporters celebrate Christmas, they will be touting their candidate to family and friends alike.   No other GOP candidate will have that type of grass roots support...   John McCain may play spoiler for Ron Paul in Iowa.   Unless Dr. Paul grabs at least a strong third in the state, he may really struggle in New Hampshire and South Carolina.   It is 13 days and counting for everyone as the campaigns take about 30 hours off for Christmas. "

Michael McDonough _Nolan Chart_
Ron Paul plugged Aaron Russo's "America: From Freedom to Fascism" on "Meet the Press"

Kevin Gosztola _Op Ed News_
Getting rid of the US Department of Educationism

Frosty Wooldridge _News with Views_
Thank the Internet for saving American from its "leaders"

_New American_
Illegal alien became mole for Hizbollah within FBI and CIA
"Nada Nadim Prouty... pleaded guilty in federal court on November 13 to conspiracy to defraud the United States, unauthorized computer access, and naturalization fraud...   Talal Khalil Chahine, a top fund-raiser for the Hezbollah terrorist organization [and] married to one of Prouty's sisters, Elfat El-Aouar...   While at the FBI, Prouty made unauthorized use of the FBI computer database to see what information the bureau might have on Hezbollah's ties to her, as well as to her sister Elfat, and her brother-in-law Chahine (who is now a fugitive, charged with skimming $20M from his restaurants, presumably to help fund Hezbollah).   She also took classified FBI documents home.   Prouty left the FBI in 2003 to join the CIA, where she was employed until the week before her arrest."

Fred E. Foldvary _Progress Report_
Ron Paul's free competition in currency act
"I previously wrote about the raid and seizure of the property of Liberty Dollar and its customers by the FBI on 2007 November 14.   FBI agents took two tons of Ron Paul medallions along with gold, silver, and the company's records.   The property seized by the FB I belonged not only to the Liberty Dollar firm but also to its customers.   The FBI has been reported as moving swiftly to forfeit the seizure.   With asset forfeiture, a government can confiscate property without any conviction or trial.   Any government in the USA can confiscate any asset at any time if government officials merely suspect that the property has been involved in a crime.   Forfeiture makes the Fourth Amendment, 'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures', null and void in the USA.   A November 30 article in the Evansville Courier Press reports that Bernard von Nothaus, creator of the 'liberty dollar', believes that the timing of the raid in Evansville was politically motivated, as it came just after the arrival of the Ron Paul medallions.   On 2007 December 13, Congressman Ron Paul introduced the Free Competition in Currency Act (HR4683)(Congressional Record Page H15467).   Paul stated, 'This act would eliminate two sections of US Code [18 USC 486 and 489] that, although ostensibly intended to punish counterfeiters, have instead been used by the government to shut down private mints'."

S&P 5001,496.45
10-year US T-Bond4.21%
crude oil$94.15/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).


Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
EU member statements debunk Craig Barrett's deceptive op-ed
In October some politicians in the European Union attracted attention with a proposal for a "blue card", ostensibly analogous to U.S. green cards.   Immediately the industry lobbyists in the U.S. warned that we would "lose" in the "competition" with the EU for the world's tech talent.
Last week the Washington Post ran an [opinion column] by Intel's Craig Barrett..., in which he again warns that the silicon sky is about to fall:
The European Union took a step recently that the U.S. Congress can't seem to muster the courage to take. By proposing a simple change in immigration policy, E.U. politicians served notice that they are serious about competing with the United States and Asia to attract the world's top talent to live, work and innovate in Europe.   With Congress grid-locked on immigration, it's clear that the next Silicon Valley will not be in the United States.
There is so much wrong in these 3 sentences that it's difficult to decide where to start.   Well, let's note first that Barrett is dead wrong about the politics.   Yes, some EU politicians have indeed proposed a more liberal immigration policy for tech workers, but so have some American politicians -- as Barrett well knows, since he and his pals lavish so much in campaign contributions to those politicians for that very purpose.
Second, though in that passage and most of Barrett's piece he gives readers the impression that the EU blue card is close to a done deal (his in-passing disclaimer at the end notwithstanding), enactment of the proposal is unlikely, as the second article enclosed below shows.   Politicians in the EU are just as skittish about immigration as their U.S. counterparts.   In fact, contrary to Barrett's theme, the EU statements quoted in the article are far more pro-worker than what we are seeing in the U.S.A., with only a handful of members of Congress having the courage to question the industry's claims on H-1B and employer-sponsored green cards.   Technically, Barrett ought to be writing in Le Monde or Der Spiegel, chastizing those anti-blue European politicos for their "nativism" compared to the U.S.A.
Most importantly, there is Barrett's implicit assumption that this "competition" is one that the U.S.A. ought to engage in.   I strongly support bringing in what Barrett calls the "top minds" of the world, but the vast majority of the foreign workers are brought in for cheap labor, certainly not something we should compete for.   (See my analysis of Intel H-1B prevailing wages.)
And as to the "top minds", they are NOT waiting 5-10 years for a green card as Barrett asserts.   Currently there is no wait for the top category, EB-1 ("foreign nationals of extraordinary ability"), and a wait of 2-3 years for Chinese and Indians in the second tier, EB-2 (for those who are either of "exceptional ability" or who possess an "advanced degree").   It is only in the lowest category, EB-3, which has no special ability requirement, that there are long waits.
Barrett is not above even including statements whose misleading nature would be obvious to any careful reader, such as the squib at the end:
The writer is chairman of Intel Corp., which employs about 2K employees with H-1B visas among its 86K workers worldwide.
Clearly it's wrong to compare the number of H-1Bs, who work only in the U.S.A., to Intel's worldwide body count.   It wouldn't even be right to compare to the number of U.S. Intel workers, as that would include all the clerical, marketing, accounting and other non-technical workers.   The proper comparison would be H-1Bs to workers in categories of jobs held by H-1Bs, i.e. engineers and programmers, and there the fraction would be quite substantial.
Barrett is both misleading and incorrect here:
To be competitive in the global economy, U.S. companies depend on specialized talent coming out of U.S. graduate schools.   These scientists and engineers are often foreign-born, as more than half of U.S. engineering master's students and PhD recipients are international students.

First of all, the fraction at the master's level is about a third, not a half.   Second, workers with advanced degrees are so important to Intel, why is its median prevailing wage claim in the mid-$60K range?   The national median salary for American workers with a Master's in engineering is $82,333, and the median for an engineering PhD is $105,500.
And again if Intel needs people with advanced degrees so much, why doesn't it take proactive steps to get more Americans pursuing those degrees?   Back in 1998, when Intel was pushing Congress to expand the H-1B program, the firm paid a visit to my university department, offering to help us increase our under-graduate enrollment.   We replied that our bachelor's student count was sky-rocketing, so we didn't need help there, but it would be great if Intel could help us attract more Americans to our master's and PhD programs.   INTEL REFUSED TO DO THIS, because Intel and the industry WANT there to be a heavy proportion of international students in U.S. graduate programs in engineering, so as to keep salaries down.   As readers of this e-news-letter know, the National Science Foundation called upon Congress to establish the H-1B program with this explicit goal.
By the way, the proposed blue card is not really analogous to our green card.   It is more like a repeatedly renewable H-1B visa.
A few months ago the Washington Post ran an op-ed by Bill Gates, calling for expansion of the H-1B program.   Now the Post has run Barrett's piece.   They've run nothing on the other side.   They rejected mine, which is not so bad in view of the fact that they did run one by me in 2000, but they also refused when I suggested that they consider one by some other advocate of reducing the H-1B program, such as professor Ron Hira.   The Post almost never runs a balanced article on H-1B these days (they ran many in 1998).   Gates' wife sits on the Post's board, and though I would hate to think that that would be enough to cause the paper to squelch dissent on the H-1B issue, it is clear to me that someone has set such a policy.

Spencer S. Hsu _Washington Post_
Despite Tough Rhetoric, Few Employers of Illegal Aliens Face Criminal Charges
"Fewer than 100 owners, supervisors or hiring officials were arrested in fiscal 2007, compared with nearly 4,900 arrests that involved illegal workers, providers of fake documents and others, the figures show...   But even though DHS has ratcheted up its enforcement effort, this year's 92 criminal arrests of employers still amount to a drop in the bucket of a national economy that includes 6M companies that employ more than 7M unauthorized workers, several analysts said.   Only 17 firms faced criminal fines or other forfeitures this year.   In one case [the employer agreed] to pay more than $17M in restitution and forfeitures...   Late in the Clinton administration and early in the current administration, the number of illegal immigrants arrested in work-site cases fell -- from 2,849 in 1999 to a low of 445 in 2003 -- although there has since been a rebound.   The number of criminal cases brought against employers during that period fell from 182 to 4.   ICE reported that the 92 criminal arrests made in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 included 59 owners and 33 corporate officials, human resources workers, crew chiefs and others in the 'supervisory chain'.   Of the remaining 771 criminal arrests, nearly 90% involved workers and other people accused of identity theft or document fraud, money laundering, providing transportation or documentation to illegal workers, or other crimes.   Criminal fines and other penalties grew from $600K in 2003 to more than $30M in 2007, but they were dominated by a few large payments, including [the one mentioned, above]."

Paul Craig Roberts _Lew Rockwell_
Greatest Gift for All
"Although the Christmas tree has ancient roots, at the beginning of the 20th century only 1 in 5 American families put up a tree.   It was 1920 before the Christmas tree became the hallmark of the season.   Calvin Coolidge was the first President to light a national Christmas tree on the White House lawn...   In our culture the individual counts.   This permits an individual person to put his or her foot down, to take a stand on principle, to become a reformer and to take on injustice.   This empowerment of the individual is unique to Western civilization.   It has made the individual a citizen equal in rights to all other citizens, protected from tyrannical government by the rule of law and free speech.   These achievements are the products of centuries of struggle, but they all flow from the teaching that God so values the individual's soul that he sent his son to die so we might live.   By so elevating the individual, Christianity gave him a voice.   Formerly only those with power had a voice.   But in Western civilization people with integrity have a voice.   So do people with a sense of justice, of honor, of duty, of fair play.   Reformers can reform, investors can invest, and entrepreneurs can create commercial enterprises, new products and new occupations.   The result was a land of opportunity.   The United States attracted immigrants who shared our values and reflected them in their own lives.   Our culture was absorbed by a diverse people who became one."


James Fulford _V Dare_
Manger Scenes Vandalized
"Christians worldwide have so far failed to respond by rioting, killing innocent bystanders or each other, or burning the Oregon State Flag.   Maybe Christians actually are a religion of peace?"

Peter Brimelow _V Dare_
interview with George Borjas on immigration and labor economics

Thomas Brewton _View from 1776_
NYTimes wants US tax-victims to build a socialist New Orleans

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_
Blue card, Green card, Pink slips part 2If you remember from the news-letter "2007-10-25 Blue Card, Green Card, Pink Card", the European Union is trying to convince their member nations to agree to a visa similar to H-1B.   Meanwhile, debate rages on in the media about what the blue card really means for the future of the U.S.A. and the rest of the free world.   Read these three quotes, and pay particular attention to the contradictions between Craig Barrett and the other 2:
"The European Union took a step recently that the U.S. Congress can't seem to muster the courage to take.   By proposing a simple change in immigration policy, E.U. politicians served notice that they are serious about competing with the United States and Asia to attract the world's top talent to live, work and innovate in Europe.   With Congress gridlocked on immigration, it's clear that the next Silicon Valley will not be in the United States." -- Craig Barrett, chairman of Intel Corp
"The EU is way behind the US and Canada in attracting professionals from other countries." -- Senior official in the Indian commerce ministry
"the EU was behind countries such as the US, Australia and Canada in attracting skilled labour." -- Franco Frattini, the EU commissioner in charge of immigration issues

So, according to Craig Barrett op-ed in the Washington Post, the United States just doesn't have the guts to pass a visa like the "blue card", which he then uses as proof that the U.S. is falling behind.   In contrast, the 2 who were quoted from India and the EU claim that Europe is way behind because they don't have the blue card.
Huh?   So just who is ahead or behind because of an abundance or lack of visas, the U.S.A. or the E.U.?
Answer: It depends on which shill you listen to.
I nominate Barrett as the biggest liar of the 3 and here is why: The U.S.A. has H-1B visas but Europe doesn't have blue cards.   That's right -- so far blue cards are just a figment of Barrett's self-serving and paranoid imagination.   Truth is, Europe doesn't have a blue card and it's by no means a done deal that they ever will.   European labor groups are way too smart to allow something like the H-1B fiasco to happen to them.   The start of the second article below says it all:
Germany and other countries poured cold water Thursday on proposals meant to lure educated migrants to the European Union while cracking down on illegal workers.
Pay particular attention to the stark contrast between the anti-labor attitudes in the U.S. and the socially responsible attitude the government of Germany takes.   Our labor secretary, Elaine Chao, [rationalized] the hiring of H-1Bs to Parade Magazine by saying that American workers stink, are poorly educated, and have bad attitudes.   Germany's government takes an entirely different attitude towards its citizens:
"We have 3.5M unemployed and that means that companies can find workers within Germany." --- Olaf Scholz, Germany's employment minister

It's worth noting that India is attempting to negotiate some sweet-heart immigration deals with the European Union in a bilateral trade and investment agreement.   One of the things India insists on is that Indian blue card holders can be paid less than the blue card salary requirement of 3 times the minimum wages prevailing in the country.   To find out how much 3x the minimum wage is in Europe, go to the news-letter archive to read: "2007-10-25 Blue Card, Green Card, Pink Card".
India knows full well that their claim to fame is in supplying cheap labor, and they obviously understand that their substandard engineers and programmers wouldn't be hired in Europe unless they are paid street sweeper salaries.
Imagine if a country came to the U.S. and said that they won't agree to free trade deals unless their H-1B programmers and engineers could be paid less than 3x minimum wage!   Even we aren't that stupid to agree to such wanton destruction of the American middle class, are we?

2007-12-26 (5768 Teves 17)
Daniel Pipes _Jewish World Review_
Benefits of "Palestinian" economic collapse

2007-12-26 (5768 Teves 17)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Hiding black inter-racial crimes

2007-12-26 (5768 Teves 17)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Primary elections and "secondary" candidates

  "A little, justly gained, is better than thousands secured by stealth, or at the expense of another's rights and interests." --- from _Money for the Millions_  



2007-12-27 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & 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 445,806 in the week ending Dec. 22, an increase of 52,767 from the previous week.   There were 425,357 initial claims in the comparable week in 2006.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1% during the week ending Dec. 15, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,813,463, an increase of 112,159 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.0% and the volume was 2,565,805.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending Dec. 8."

Chris Hawley _Arizona Republic_
As smugglers get more violent, scientists give up on studies near border
"Biologist Karen Krebbs used to study bats in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on the Arizona-Mexico border.   Then, she got tired of dodging drug smugglers all night.   'I use night-vision goggles, and you could see them very clearly' -- caravans of men with guns and huge back-packs full of drugs, trudging through the desert, Krebbs said.   After her 10th or 11th time hiding in bushes and behind rocks, she abandoned her research.   'I'm just not willing to risk my neck anymore.', she said." [That's a good reason she should have been reporting them all along, to discourage them from the areas where she's studying...jgo]

Mary Hayes Weier _Information Week_/_CMP_
India body shop Wipro is reportedly trying to acquire French body shop CapGemini
There are reports coming from India that IT out-sourcing vendor Wipro is preparing a $7G bid for CapGemini...   Indian companies are under the gun to move beyond their Indian work-forces.   Citing investment banking sources, The Hindustan Times reported December 23 that Wipro hopes to make a bid for CapGemini by the end of January...   Wipro, India's third-largest IT out-sourcing provider [bodyshopper] after Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys Technologies, has myriad reasons to grow beyond India.   For one, the U.S. government's cap on H-1B visas [over 85K for this year] makes it difficult for Indian companies to keep growing business in the United States, since they're limited by how many technologists they can send here for temporary work [though there is no limit on how many US citizens they can employ].   Second, India's incredibly tight talent market has all of the country's IT giants looking to build staff in foreign lands.   Third, some U.S. companies might be more likely to out-source with CapGemini, which has strong U.S. ties, than with an Indian-based provider.   Earlier this year, Wipro acquired U.S.-based IT services [i.e. bodyshopping] firm InfoCrossing in a $600M deal...   Infosys, for example, expanded in the Czech Republic earlier this year and set up its first Latin subsidiary in August...   A rep with Nasscom, an organization representing India's IT industry, notes that Indian companies are sitting on tons of cash and predicts more acquisitions of U.S. companies.   Capgemini may be headquartered in France, but tens of thousands of its employees are U.S. citizens, mostly working on U.S. soil."
class action against Tata
Tata median salaries by city
Wipro median salaries by city
Infosys median salaries by city

2007-12-27 08:32PST (11:32EST) (16:32GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
Conference Board says consumer confidence increased in December
"The consumer confidence index rose to 88.6 from a revised reading of 87.8 in November.   The initial estimate for November was 87.3...   This month's expectations index level rose to 75.5 from 69.1 in November, yet remains below 96.3 during the same period in the prior year...   The present situation index reached 108.3 in December, compared with 130.5 in the prior year.   Consumers saying conditions are 'bad' rose to 20.0% from 18.9% in November.   In contrast to the short-term future outlook, consumers saying jobs are presently hard to get rose to 23.5% from 21.4%."

2007-12-27 09:13PST (12:13EST) (17:13GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Durable goods orders were up 0.1% in November

Vince Wade _YouTube_
Spies on Campus

2007-12-27 (5768 Teves 18)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Computerized Confusion


2007-12-27 21:01PST (2007-12-28 00:01EST) (2007-12-28 05:01GMT)
Laura Mandaro _MarketWatch_
More chapter 11 bankruptcy filings expected in 2008 (with graph)

2007-12-28 11:23PST (14:23EST) (19:23GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
Bush is expected to veto pork-laden defense bill
"In a statement, Deputy White House Press Secretary Scott Stanzel said a section of the legislation would permit plaintiffs' lawyers to immediately freeze Iraqi funds, exposing Iraq to 'massive liability' in law-suits stemming from the 'misdeeds of the Saddam Hussein regime'.   'The new democratic government of Iraq, during this crucial period of reconstruction, cannot afford to have its funds entangled in such law-suits in the United States.', Stanzel said."

_Conference Board_
The Conference Board Help-Wanted Advertising Index Dipped
Black Enterprise
Manchester Guardian
"Says Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board: 'The forward indicators of labor market activity offer little hope that the labor market will be spared.   The latest readings on print want-ad volume show some slowing in recent months, after slowly losing steam through the spring and summer.   Data for online advertising also point to reduced job recruitment efforts.   Initial unemployment claims have edged higher.   It's not good news when more people are signing up for unemployment checks, and the average length of unemployment is lengthening.   The JOLTS data (Job Openings and Labor Turnover) also showed remarkably little change through October.   These forward indicators of labor market activity are consistent with slowing growth.'"

Bill Snyder _InfoWorld_
Under-Reported Issues: Executives have been evading visa limits
"The real total of visas issued to highly skilled workers is closer to 400K annually, according to the federal Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency.   And that, say some critics, may mean that the law is being abused...   First, the H1-B visa cap has a built-in exemption that allows an additional 20K workers who have graduated from U.S. universities with an advanced degree (master's or higher) to enter every year.   Second -- and the biggest reason -- is the use of L-1 visas, which are granted to executives and workers with specialized skills employed by multi-national companies.   Because there is no cap on L-1 visas issued each year, the numbers have soared.   In the last 3 years, an average of 315K L-1 visas have been issued each year...   Tata Consultancy [cross-border body shop and off-shoring operations] obtained 4,887 L-1s in fiscal 2006 -- the most of any company -- and 3,601 in fiscal 2007, second only to Cognizant (4,869), a U.S.-based [cross-border body shop with major off-shoring operations] in India.   'I find it hard to believe that any one company has that many individuals -- legitimately being transferred within a single year.', Durbin said in Congress.   (Tata declined to comment to InfoWorld, but a spokesman told BusinessWeek, 'We're complying with the law and with the regulations.   We want to work with Congress to address any issues they may have.')"
class action against Tata

Bill Snyder _InfoWorld_
Under-Reported Issues: Java becoming obsolete

Alex Moskalyuk _Ziff Davis_
Americans worked an average 45 hours per week in 2007 according to Harris poll

Chris Francescani _abc_
"Tuition Bandits" may be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison
"Two Ohio students who robbed a bank... and later claimed they needed the money for college tuition had the proverbial book thrown at them...   'If you get to that point, robbing people isn't the answer.   It never has and it never will be.', Hamilton County common pleas judge Steven Martin told the pair, according to the Associated Press...   Christopher Avery, a 22-year old University of Cincinnati student, and Andrew Butler, 20, who attended the University of Toledo, pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated robbery and 6 charges of kidnapping, Deters said...   July 17 at the Valley Central Savings Bank in Reading, Ohio..."

Thomas Brewton _View from 1776_
Judiciary has under-mined the US constitution

Phyllis Schlafly _World Net Daily_
Science and engineering degrees of insignificance
Bend Weekly
"While the price of a college education has sky-rocketed far faster than inflation, many careers for which colleges prepare their graduates are disappearing.   U.S. News' Best Careers guide concludes, 'college grads might want to consider blue-collar careers' because bachelor's degree holders 'are having trouble finding jobs that require college-graduate skills'...   [25] years ago, we were told we really didn't need manufacturing because it can be done more cheaply elsewhere, that auto workers and others should move to information-age jobs.   But now the information jobs are moving off-shore, too, as well as marketing research and even many varieties of innovation.   The flight over-seas includes professional as well as low-wage jobs, with engineering jobs offshored to India and [Red China].   Thousands of bright Asian engineers are willing to work for a fraction of U.S. wages, which is why Boeing just signed a 10-year, $1G-a-year deal with a government-run company in India...   it doesn't make sense for parents to mortgage their homes, or for students to saddle themselves with long-term debt, to pay over-priced college tuition to prepare for jobs that no longer exist.   Tuition at public universities has risen an unprecedented 51% over the last 5 years...   A Duke University spokesman said that 40% of Duke's engineering graduates cannot get engineering jobs."

Vince Wade _YouTube_
Handing the Red Chinese government everything

Robert Cringely _Integrated Strategic Analytics_
Leaner and Meaner Still: IBM's US operations continue to shrivel

Robert P. Murphy _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
The Fed's Role in the Housing Bubble

_Genetic Genealogist_
3M men may be direct patrilineal descendants of Niall of the 9 Hostages (Niall Naoi-Ghiallach), 1 in 12 Irish
Family Tree DNA
Irish Genealogy ToolKit
Florida Irish Heritage Center

2007-12-28 (5768 Teves 19)
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo _Jewish World Review_
Leadership and rebellion: Greatness isn't cultivated on a mountain-top

S&P 5001,478.49
10-year US T-Bond4.10%
crude oil$96.00/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).


2007-12-29 (5768 Teves 20)
Diana West _Jewish World Review_
Paying Islam for our Western angst
"Christmas came early to the Palestinian Authority when the 'international community' decided not only to meet PA President Mahmoud Abbas' request for $5.6G in aid, but to throw in almost $2G more. Why?   Did the PA end its terrorist ways?   Stop state-sanctioned incitement against Israel and the West?   Change Fatah's charter (forget about Hamas) calling for Israel's destruction?   Alas, no, no and no."

2007-12-29 10:55PST (13:55EST) (18:55GMT)
Italy and Libya agree to joing patrols for illegal aliens
"Italian naval vessels will patrol off the Libyan coast with Libyan sailors aboard to combat illegal immigration under an agreement signed by the 2 countries Saturday, Italy's interior ministry said."

John Vidal _Manchester Guardian_
California start-up prints solar cells
"Nanosolar... Printed like a newspaper directly on to aluminium foil, they are flexible, light...   Yesterday Nanosolar said its order books were full until mid-2009 and that a second factory would soon open in Germany where demand for solar power has rocketed...   Erik Oldekop, Nanosolar's manager in Switzerland. 'We aim to produce the panels for 99 cents [50p] a watt, which is comparable to the price of electricity generated from coal...   We are aiming to make solar power stations up to 10MW in size.   They can be up and running in 6 to 9 months compared to 10 years or more for coal-powered stations and 15 years for nuclear plants.'"



2007-12-30 22:19PST (2007-12-31 01:19EST) (2007-12-31 06:19GMT)
Producing babies for couples in already over-crowded USA being out-sourced to India and Red China

Frosty Wooldridge _News with Views_
The shabbiest of all lies are false assertions about America's future
"The majority of Americans deal with it daily in gridlock traffic, toxic air pollution, water shortages, higher living costs, gas prices, over-crowded national parks, insanely compacted cities, food costs and everything that degrades their quality of life.   Yet no one talks about it.   Denial proves safer at this moment in time...   Amazingly, we can see the fate of [Red China], India and Bangladesh nightly on the news.   U.S. churches try to feed millions of starving children in Africa.   Even with their efforts, 20K children under the age of 10 starve to death or die of starvation related diseases daily. (Source: World Health Organization)   Reports stream in from all over the world manifesting realities of 'silent assertion'...   Our main goal is to change this nation's course from its current self-destructive path—to one of a viable, sustainable and peaceful future."

S&P 5001,468.436
10-year US T-Bond4.04%
crude oil$95.98/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).

  "I know something of the history of this legislation [prohibiting the concealed carry of firearms].   The original Act of 1893 was passed when there was a great influx of negro laborers in this State drawn here for the purpose of working in the turpentine and lumber camps.   The same condition existed when the Act was amended in 1901 and the Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers and to thereby reduce the unlawful homicides that were prevalent in turpentine and saw-mill camps and to give the white citizens in sparsely settled areas a better feeling of security.   The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population and in practice has never been so applied." --- Justice Buford, Florida Supreme Court, in Watson v. Stone, 4 So.2d 700, 703 (Fla. 1941), quoted in Cottrol and Diamond, 355.  


2007 December

2007 December
Stephen Steinlight _Center for Immigration Studies_
Immigration, Main-Stream Media, and the 2008 Election
pdf version
"One way to try defusing this obstreperous movement is starving it of coverage, and there seems to be an implicit understanding in the main-stream print media and the TV networks to do just that.   So monolithic is the world-view of the main-stream media one need not posit a conspiracy to end up with what amounts to objective collusion...   numerous polls place immigration either before or just after health-care as the issue of greatest concern to Americans, and the one they consistently assert is the U.S. government's worst failure other than the war in Iraq.   In multiple surveys it invariably makes the top 3, and in recent polls it is number 1...   Notably absent is discussion of the bill introduced by Congressman Heath Shuler emphasizing border security and immigration enforcement in the workplace -- with no provision for amnesty -- that has already received pledges of support from several dozen members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.   This story is excluded because the Post opposes the legislation's goals...   The most unguarded spot for the Fates to penetrate the wall of silence is the debates for primary candidates.   Main-stream media polices the boundaries by selecting and carefully scripting questions but responses remain unpredictable.   Control is then exercised only after the fact by cutting off discussion, but the damage is already done and the censorship transparent.   This has famously happened when the opening was no wider than a crevice."

2007 December
Rob Sanchez _Californians for Population Stabilization_
Phony Blue Card Scare
"This scare-mongering is a smoke-screen to hide Barrett's desire to increase the labor supply, thereby slashing labor costs.   High tech industries such as Intel routinely make false claims there are shortages of qualified Americans.   Anecdotal claims of shortages are touted in order to make the corporate case for increasing the number of H-1B visas.   Several recent studies, such as one by the Urban Institute, prove that the U.S.A. is creating fewer high-tech jobs than the number of qualified people who are entering the workforce.   Intel's claims that they can't find enough talented workers is dubious, especially considering that Intel is eliminating thousands of jobs in locations such as New Mexico, California, and Oregon.   If Intel is having such a tough time finding qualified workers, why are they firing so many workers already in their employ?...   Like the H-1B visa in the United States, the blue card would be a temporary guest-worker visa that indentures each worker to the employer.   Other similarities between the H-1B visa and the blue card include their not-so-subtle purpose of undercutting and replacing more expensive domestic work-forces...   both continents have worker gluts, not shortages...   Europe doesn't have a blue card program yet, and it's just as likely that it never will.   European labor groups have been resisting the blue card because they don't want a fiasco like the H-1B program foisted upon them.   They argue that blue cards, like H-1Bs, would accelerate the unemployment of their own domestic high-tech work-force.   Olaf Scholz, Germany's employment minister, implored employers to hire their own people instead of using blue cards to import foreign workers when he stated, 'We have 3.5M unemployed and that means that companies can find workers within Germany.'...   Intel does not hesitate to use the hackneyed corporate cliche that more employment-based visas are necessary to attract the 'best and brightest' into the U.S.A.   If Intel were sincere, their CEO wouldn't be so worried about competing with Europe for $4 per hour computer programmers.   Even if U.S. employers were allowed to compete with blue cards by importing foreign professionals that were willing to work for such pittances, we shouldn't be so foolish as to agree to the wanton destruction of the American middle class."

Dennis Parker _Go 60_
Age Discrimination Is Killing High Tech
"'Tell them what the mission is, and ask them for ideas.   Ask them to help you plan the work and work the plan, and ask who wants to do what.   Match them up.   Hold them accountable, and then get out of the way.   You won't regret it.'...   They just did the job and did it well.   I not only didn't replace them, I wound up praising them, publicly apologizing to them for my prejudice and recommending two of them for promotions, which they both received.   I learned a life-changing lesson that year; good people are ageless and will perform well if they have necessary skills and are given an opportunity...   all the potential customers I speak with tell me the weakest thing about dot-com products is the lack of documentation and training materials."

Chris Mosquera _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
Is Organized Labor A Decaying Business Model? (pdf)

Robert Spencer & Phyllis Chesler _Front Page Magazine_/_Discover the Networks_
the violent oppression of women in Islam (pdf)

  "Everyone is 6 people away from someone at the table.   Find the beginning of the chain of arms, the people in your life who are closer to the table than you are.   They are your 1st allies.   Find something they want.   People at the table often grab hands with those farther out who have something to offer: a script, the rights to something interesting, an idea.   Before you hand off to the nearest well-connected arm, however, find an entertainment lawyer to protect you.   You must be legally attached to the under-lying rights to any material you trade up with so that it isn't grabbed out of your hands altogether.   Once you have secured a place at the table, you must do a lot of favors for immediate & not-so-immediate family members." --- Lynda Obst 1996 _Hello, He Lied_ pg 28  


Proposed Bills 2007

Presidential candidate fund-raising, expenditures, and debt
  "You people have no clue of what security is or what it takes to achieve it." --- Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner) in "The BodyGuard" screen-play by Lawrence Kasdan  

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