2008 March

3rd month of the 1st quarter of the 19th year of the Bush-Clinton-Shrub economic depression

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updated: 2018-12-10

  "Eldridge expressed his opposition... because it would make 'the state drill-sergeants.   He had as lief let the citizens of Massachusetts be disarmed, as to take the command from the states, & subject them to the general [federal] legislature.   It would be regarded as a system of despotism.   Mr. Madison observed that 'arming', as explained, did not extend to furnishing arms; nor the term 'disciplining' to penalties, & courts martial for enforcing them.   Mr. King added... that arming meant not only to provide for unifority of arms, but included the authority to regulate the modes of furnishing, either by the militia themselves, the state gov'ts, or the national treasury..." --- Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pg 34 (citing Jonathan Elliot _The debates of the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution_ 1888 edition vol 5 pg 465)  

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  "19th, That any person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms ought to be exempted upon payment of an equivalent to employ another to bear arms in his stead." --- Virginia Declaration of Rights (also James Madison's draft of the 2nd amendment; quoted in Charlene Bangs Bickford & Helen E. Veit 1986 _Documentary History of the 1st Federal Congress 1789-1791_ vol 4 pp 16-18; quoted in Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pg 45)  




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

2008 March

3rd month of the 1st quarter of the 9th year of the Clinton-Bush economic depression



various Indian media
Another Indian Bank Opens in NYC
"According to executive director Sonjoy Chatterjee, responsible for corporate and international banking at ICICI, the bank was authorised to serve the retail needs of about 100K Indians in the USA on H-1B work visas.   Asked whether Indians on other visas too could avail of the facility, Chatterjee said only and specifically H-1B visa is mentioned in the licence."

Robert Williams _Network World_
BrainDumps, VCEs, Gunmen and Cheaters: Cheating on certification exams
"Gunmen originated in China where the concept of the 'Hired Gunman' was HUGE, even among the college students.   Originally, these Hired Gunmen were look-alikes that were paid to go into the exam room and sit the exam in place of the students."

Marty Schladen _Galveston county Daily News_
Ron Paul well ahead in poll by a margin of 63% to 30%
"Paul has served the district off and on since the mid-1970s. After its latest redrawing, the district sweeps down the Gulf Coast from Port Arthur, excludes Houston and part of Galveston County, and continues almost to Port Aransas."



Texas Declaration of Independence

2008-03-02 06:00PST (09:00EST) (14:00GMT)
Don Culpepper _WLOX Biloxi_
Ron Paul Campaigner Says Signs Are Being Knocked Down And Stolen
"'Whenever he gets out of a van instead of a limo, that impresses me.', says Fountain of his candidate.   'That's the way he wants to run the county.   Slim it down.   Lets take care of American people first.'   Even his most ardent supporters know at this point in the campaign, the message is what they are fighting for.   'This is a movement nationwide.   This is the constitution.'   So signs or no signs, Stan Fountain says he's staying in as long as his candidate does."

2008-03-02 08:28PST (11:28EST) (16:28GMT)
Brandi Hart _McKinney Courier-Gazette_
Many running for district 3 congressional seat
"Allevanet said he is also focused on the improving the economy and believes the war is causing harm to the economy, as they directly affect each other.   He would be in favor of scaling down the use of the H-1B visa that allows companies to hire foreign workers in lieu of hiring US citizens, which is degrading the standard of living for American workers because it bypasses the normal market procedure because companies pay immigrants less, Avellanet said.   'This is wrecking companies like EDS.   I support the principles of capitalism.   The H-1B visa become the conduit for where the back offices of large companies start outsourcing their call center jobs overseas to places like India.   It facilitates it.', Avellanet said.   He doesn't believe that America should have a national health-care system because that is not included in the Constitution, he said.   Avellanet's web site is www.wayneallevanet.com."

_Santa Rosa Press Democrat_
The buck stops with consumer spending
"The new indicator comes courtesy of Charles Biderman, founder and chief executive of TrimTabs Investment Research, a proprietary research firm in Santa Rosa.   'The big picture is: The amount of money people have to spend, which includes money on real estate transactions, is plummeting, and it started to break down in October.', he said...   Biderman said his data, in contrast to the indicators the federal number crunchers produce, are contemporaneous and offer much more insight into what is happening in the economic here and now.   He said data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis rely on out-dated figures and out-moded methods.   (Both agencies have been roundly criticized for years about these problems.   They defend their practices by saying that, among other things, certain data segments they ignore are insignificant and their models are -- of necessity -- focused on past data.)   Biderman's assessment of current employment and personal income pictures, for instance, is gleaned from sources that include daily deposits of withheld income and employment taxes reported to the U.S. Treasury...   TrimTabs calls its new measure the Consumer Spendables Indicator, and it sensibly includes these crucial sources of consumption cash: after-tax wages; after-tax income from non-wage sources, like capital gains, dividends, pensions, partnerships and self-employment; and net equity extraction from consumers' homes, either through property sales or mortgage refinancing...   TrimTabs, which estimates employment growth using data from an online job index and an analysis of income tax withheld versus job creation rates, has been far more accurate than the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   For example, in 2006, the government's initial estimates of employment growth came in at 1.52M jobs.   But the bureau revised that data upward in 2007 February, for a total of 2.24M.   By comparison, TrimTabs' estimates of 2006 employment growth, using real-time data, totaled 2.39M jobs.   The firm reported those figures to clients contemporaneously.   Last week, TrimTabs told clients it estimated that 77K jobs would be lost in February; Wall Street economists are calling for a gain of 30K for the month.   Since 2007 October, TrimTabs estimates, the economy has lost about 175K jobs, the first sustained employment drop since early 2003.   Growing job losses naturally will contribute to a weakening consumer, whose ills will affect the overall economy.   And the stock market is feeling this pain as well, in Biderman's view."

Bruce Horovitz _USA Today_
Hard times are on the menu at restaurants


1865-03-03: battle of Natural Bridge, Florida

Dice Report: 91,080 job ads

body shop36,544

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

Gail Russell Chaddock _Christian Science Monitor_
More incumbents facing challenges in 2008
"The defeat of 2 long-time incumbents in Maryland primaries last month stunned official Washington.   It's a rare event for members of Congress to lose, but the new element in these races is the role of activist groups on the right and left in defeating incumbents deemed too conciliatory to the other side...   Since 1980, the number of US House members defeated in a primary election can be counted on one hand, except when an incumbent faces an incumbent, as often happens after a decennial census and redistricting.   But the number of incumbents with viable primary challengers is rising: In the first 12 months of the 2008 election cycle, 21 House members -- 9 Democrats and 12 Republicans -- face challengers who have raised at least $50K.   That's double the levels of the 2002 and 2004 election cycles, according to the Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) in Washington...   While conservative talk-radio hosts cited private polls last month putting Paul 11 points behind the challenger, the first public poll by Public Policy Polling in Raleigh, NC, released Feb. 28 shows Paul leading Peden, 63 to 30."

Amanda Gardner _HealthDay_
Americans are sleepier, more over-worked than ever
Health Scout
"Americans are working later and sleeping less, a dangerous combination which can cause drowsiness at the wheel, loss of productivity and a lack of interest in sex...   The troubling numbers come from a new Sleep in America poll released Monday by the NSF as part of its 11th annual National Sleep Awareness Week.   More than 70M Americans are affected by sleep problems, according to the National Institutes of Health.   The problems are worse in women, and they worsen for both genders with age.   This random telephone survey of 1K individuals across the country, conducted at the end of 2007, found: Respondents spend an average of almost 4.5 hours each week doing additional work from home.   That's after an average 9.5-hour work-day.   One quarter of respondents have an 8-9 hour work-day; one quarter work 9 to 10 hours per day; a third work 10 or more hours daily.   28% said that daytime sleepiness interferes with their daily activities at least a few days each month.   29% reported falling asleep or being sleepy at work in the past month.   Respondents got an average of 6 hours and 40 minutes sleep per night on week-days, although they said they needed 7 hours and 18 minutes to be refreshed.   36% have nodded off or fallen asleep while driving; 32% were drowsy while driving at least one or two times a month; and 26% drive drowsy during the work-day.   20% have lost interest in sex or have sex less often because of sleepiness.   12% reported being late to work in the past month because of sleepiness.   32% only get a good night's sleep a few nights per month.   65% have a sleep problem, such as difficulty falling asleep or waking up during the night; 44% said they had such troubles almost every night.   17% get help falling asleep, in the form of alcohol or prescription/over-the-counter sleep medications, at least a few nights each week.   58% drank caffeine to cope.   38% chose foods loaded in sugar and carbohydrates.   37% say they take naps.   34% work at places which allow napping during breaks."

Timothy Aeppel _Wall Street Journal_
US Shoe Factory Finds Supplies Are Achilles' Heel
"Howard Shaffer opened a small factory here in 1995 to make sneakers for Adidas AG -- but also to make a point.   Having spent the previous decade setting up plants in [Red China] to manufacture shoes for big U.S. brands, he thought he knew how to revive the moribund U.S. foot-wear industry: use heavy automation run by a handful of skilled workers instead of relying on large numbers of low-paid Chinese laborers.   It never quite worked...   Finding technicians to fly in on short notice to fix shoe machines was a constant and growing challenge, Mr. Shaffer says, because the number of U.S. companies that make and service machines has dwindled.   The suppliers of shoe-laces, leather and other basic materials insisted that he buy in far larger batches than made sense for a small-scale producer..."

_Wall Street Journal_
Economies: Texas vs. Ohio
Growth and Pain
New Job creation [net or gross?]1,615,000-10,400
Net state immigration667,000-362,000
Unemployment rate 2007 December4.5%6.0%
Per Capita Income Growth 1996-200655%43%
Exports 2006$150.9G$37.8G

"In 2006 the Lone Star State exported $5.5G of cars and trucks to Mexico and $2.4G worth to Canada...   Ohio politicians deplore plant closings even as they impose the third highest corporate income tax in the country (10.5%) and the sixth highest personal income tax (8.87%).   A common joke is that Ohio lays out the red carpet for companies -- when they leave the state.   By contrast, Texas has no income tax, a huge competitive advantage...   Ohio is a 'closed shop' state...   Texas is a right to work state...   Nearly 1K new plants have been built in Texas since 2005, from the likes of M$, Samsung and Fujitsu.   [345K people in Texas are employed by foreign firms.]..."

2008-03-03 08:35PST (11:35EST) (16:35GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
ISM manufacturing index dropped from 50.7 in January to 48.2 in February
"The production index fell from 55.2 to 50.7.   Exports remained a bright spot, despite a decline in the export index from 58.5 to 56.   The employment index slipped from 47.1 to 46, also a 5-year low."

Alice Lipowicz _Washington Technology_
Executives making coordinated push for more visas
Federal Computer Week

Patrick J. Buchanan _V Dare_
2nd Battle of NAFTA

Tom Sullivan _InfoWorld_/_IDG_
L-1 visas are being abused

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Gates invited to speak March 12 to House Committee on Science and Technology
"The political pressure to raise the H-1B cap, or to shrink it, also is ongoing, but people on both sides of the issue are cautious about predicting that any legislation will find its way out of Congress during an election year.   'I'm not at all convinced that we've won the battle for this year.', said Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, an immigration advocacy group that opposes efforts to increase the H-1B cap.   But Beck added that he thinks the Arlington, VA-based group has helped to create 'enough counter-weight' to challenge the cap-increase proposals."
committee site
Americans harmed by guest-work visa programs


2008-03-04: 35 weeks to federal elections of president and congress-critters

Gerald Seib _Wall Street Journal_
Peace, Prosperity and Primaries
"In Ohio, with a higher unemployment rate, a plague of home foreclosures and a big population of union workers, the presidential campaign is about the economy.   In Texas, with a healthier economy, a wider conservative streak and a larger number of military veterans, things aren't quite that simple; the economy still is important, but national security also looms large...   In Ohio, home foreclosures soared 88% in 2007 from a year earlier, according to statistics compiled by RealtyTrac.   In Texas, foreclosures actually declined slightly in 2007.   Unemployment in Ohio is 5.8% and rose slightly in the second half of 2007.   In Texas, it is 4.2% and fell slightly in the second half of 2007.   Ohio has a work force that is more than 14% union members, many worried about their jobs in the industrial economy that is the bedrock of union membership.   Unionized workers make up less than 5% of the work force in Texas.   From these differences flow a natural divide: The economy is more important in Ohio than in Texas as a campaign issue.   A pair of polls released over the weekend by Fox News show the split.   In Ohio, 47% of Democratic voters said the economy is the most important issue; in Texas, it was 32%.   Texas voters were more likely to cite Iraq as the most important issue, Ohio voters less so."

Adith Charlie _Hindu Business Line_
Tata facility being prepared near Cincinnati
"The US subsidiary of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has received incentives worth more than $19M (7.6M Rupees) for setting up base in Cincinnati in the USA...   Ohio state has also awarded TCS a $2.5M 'rapid outreach grant' to help pay for the building and its renovation, which will cost the company $7M."
class action against Tata

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_
Spring is in the air, and so is the struggle over H-1B visas

2008-03-04 13:35:18PST (16:35:18EST) (21:35:18GMT)
Troy Wolverton _San Jose Mercury News_
Apple share-owners want a say in executive compensation
"At the meeting, investors passed a share-holder proposal urging the company to allow investors to have an advisory vote each year on executive compensation, according to the company's preliminary tally of votes. The same proposal garnered strong support at last year's meeting, but fell shy of a majority... the proposal is not binding, so the company's board could choose to ignore it. The board had opposed the proposal prior to the vote, arguing that giving share-holders a vote on executive pay is a 'blunt instrument' that would provide the board with little insight about share-holder feelings. The movement to give share-holders a vote on executive compensation has been gaining ground in corporate America, thanks to outrage over pay decisions that have been seen as out of whack with particular companies' performance... [Steve Jobs's] compensation has been relatively modest compared to that of other CEOs, given Apple's overall performance in recent years... At [last year's] meeting, share-holders withheld votes in large numbers from every Apple director except Jobs, and large minorities voted for a slate of corporate governance and executive pay reforms. The votes were seen as a response to the company's [options] back-dating problems."

Chuck Baldwin _V Dare_
Who looks foolish -- Alamo heroes or us?
"During this week back in 1836, the Alamo fell.   For more than 13 days, 186 brave and determined patriots withstood Santa Anna's seasoned army of over 4K troops.   To a man, the defenders of that mission fort knew they would never leave those ramparts alive.   They had several opportunities to leave and live.   Yet, they chose to fight and die."

Brenda Walker _V Dare_
Costs of Over-Population

_Great Depression On-Line_
Charles Ponzi day; the greatest Ponzi scheme of all; Socialist Insecurity, "entitlements" & perpetual debasement of the currency with soaring inflation

2008-03-04 (5768 Adar1 27)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Rescuing the rust belt


Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
In response to dismal job prospects, CS graduating class of 2007 is the smallest in a decade according to CRA
"Enrollments in computer science programs, which plunged after the dot-com bust, may have leveled off, according to new data from the Computing Research Association (CRA).   The group follows year-over-year enrollment and graduate trends at 170 Ph.D.-granting institutions...   The CRA doesn't look at how well computer science students are doing upon graduation..."

2008-03-05 08:11PST (11:11EST) (16:11GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM services index rose from 44.6 in January to 49.3
"The employment index also rose, from 43.9 to 46.9."

2008-03-05 13:42PST (16:42EST) (21:42GMT)
Matt Andrejczak _MarketWatch_
US meat-packers consolidating... in foreign hands
"Ownership of U.S. meat producers is taking on a foreign flavor.   The beneficiary: A top-producing meat-packer in Brazil called JBS S.A.   In separate deals this week, JBS, already the world's largest beef producer, widened its U.S. footprint, making it the No. 1 player ahead of Cargill and Tyson Foods Inc...   JBS... will control around 30% of the U.S. beef packing market...   Smithfield Foods Inc. agreed to sell its beef-processing and cattle-feeding operation to JBS for $565M in cash...   JBS struck a deal Tuesday to buy U.S. Premium Beef, majority owner of National Beef Packing Co., for $560M in cash and stock.   Both pacts are subject to regulatory approvals...   Last July, JBS purchased Colorado-based Swift & Co. and since then has made deals for beef producers in Italy and Australia."

Ericka Chickowski _BaseLine_
There Really Is No IT Labor Shortage
Toni Bowers: TechRepublic/Ziff Davis
"there is a growing resistance to this 'common knowledge' of IT labor shortages -- a number of economists, academics and industry experts refute these claims, stating that there simply isn't any hard evidence to support the idea that there is or soon will be an IT skills shortage.   'It seems like every 3 years you've got one group or another saying, the world is going to come to an end; there is going to be a shortage and so on.', said Vivek Wadhwa, a professor for Duke University's Master of Engineering Management Program and a former technology CEO [cross-border bodyshopper] himself.   'This whole concept of shortages is bogus, it shows a lack of understanding of the labor pool in the USA.'   Wadhwa has been studying the IT labor market since his transition to the academic world, when he began hearing student anxiety over the availability of jobs in the wake of increased off-shore out-sourcing and on-shore hiring of foreign guest workers...   These studies done at Duke aren't alone in their assessment that there is in fact no skills shortage.   They're backed up by other studies conducted by RAND Corporation, The Urban Institute and Stanford University, among others, all of which settle upon the same conclusion: There is no shortage of educated IT workers.   'No one who has come to the question with an open mind has been able to find any objective data suggesting general 'shortages' of scientists and engineers.', said Dr. Michael Teitelbaum, vice president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, in testimony to Congress last fall.   'The RAND Corporation has conducted several studies of this subject; its conclusions go further than my summary above, saying that not only could they not find any evidence of shortages, but that instead the evidence is more suggestive of surpluses.'...   Hal Salzman at the Urban Institute believes that part of the disconnect between employer's view of a shrinking pool of solid recruits and employees views of a shrinking job market comes by way of unrealistic expectations from IT industry leaders...   He believes that many hiring managers complain that there is a shortage of eligible skilled IT workers because their vision of eligibility is impractical...   Last fall Salzman and Lindsay Lowell of Georgetown University produced a paper for The Urban Institute that showed that general science technology engineering and math (STEM) enrollment at American universities was at least double the net increase of jobs each year.   It noted that the IT industry in particular was unique in that up to 40% of IT workers have no STEM degree at all, many of whom came from the business side and learned the technology on the job.   This only further widens the pool of eligible workers, he said...   'The industry collapsed and a year later enrollment declined.   That's a problem?   I mean wouldn't you be worried if students kept enrolling without any jobs?   Would you want to hire people like that?   They say they want these hybrid professionals who understand business and markets and yet they want them to make a career decision without taking into account the market?'...   students are smart -- enrollment rates go up when salary rates go up...   the proportion of graduates to available jobs is still rising...   some like Wadhwa believe that there are many more experienced IT workers out of the market who are unemployed or under-employed or unemployed due to age discrimination or those who left IT during a period of unemployment following a bust cycle."
Ericka Chickowski: BaseLine pg 2
Ericka Chickowski: BaseLine pg 3
Salzman on Education (pdf)

2008-03-05 (5768 Adar1 28)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Liberty versus socialism

_Business Week_
Biggest H-1B abusers
compare to Fortune 500

  "The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their rights to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments." --- James Madison 1789-06-08 proposal for Bill of Rights (quoted in Charlene Bangs Bickford & Helen E. Veit 1986 _Documentary History of the 1st Federal Congress 1789-1791_ vol 4 pp 10-11; quoted in Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pg 51)  



2008-03-06 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 342,855 in the week ending March 1, an increase of 12,785 from the previous week.   There were 320,194 initial claims in the comparable week in 2007.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5% during the week ending Feb. 23, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,383,128, an increase of 84,766 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.3% and the volume was 3,013,239.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending Feb. 16."

2008-03-06 10:18PST (13:18EST) (18:18GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Real US household wealth fell in 2007
"The net worth of U.S. households fell by $533G, or a 3.6% annual rate, in the fourth quarter of 2007, the first time total wealth has fallen since late 2002, the Fed said.   For all of 2007, household net worth rose 3.4% to $57.7T, the slowest growth in 5 years.   After the effects of 4.1% inflation are included, real net worth fell for the year."

Moira Herbst _Business Week_
India-based cross-border bodyshoppers and off-shore out-sourcers topped list of companies using H-1B visas again in 2007
"Indian out-sourcers accounted for nearly 80% of the visas approved last year for the top 10 participants in the program.   The new data are sure to fuel criticism of the visa program from detractors such as senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Richard J. Durbin (D-IL).   'These numbers should send a red flag to every law-maker that the H-1B visa program is not working as it was intended.', said Grassley in an e-mail [message]...   Overall, 6 of the top 10 visa recipients in 2007 are based in India; 2 others among the top 10, Cognizant Technology Solutions and UST Global, are head-quartered in the U.S.A. but have most of their operations in India.   M$ and Intel are the only 2 traditional U.S. tech companies among the top 10.   M$ received 959 visa approvals, or one fifth as many as Infosys, while Intel got 369."

David Ho _Cox_/_Atlanta Journal-Constitution_
LouDobbs has 1.2M viewers
"News Corp.'s Fox News retained its lead in total viewers, with an average of about 2.2M on week-nights compared to CNN's 2M...   In February, 'The O'Reilly Factor' had an average weeknight audience of 2.7M and 'Hannity & Colmes' had about 1.9M viewers.   CNN's 'Larry King Live' had 1.3M and 'Lou Dobbs Tonight' averaged 1.2M."

Sandra Block _USA Today_/_Gannett_
Average US home equity fell below 50% for first time since WW2
"The average homeowners' equity -- the market value minus mortgage balance -- fell to 47.9% at the end of 2007, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.   The Fed also issued revisions to earlier reports indicating that, for the first time in record keeping dating back to 1945, home equity was below 50% for the last nine months of 2007."

Thomas Brewton _View from 1776_
Socialism is increasing in the EU


2008-03-07 11:13PST (14:13EST) (19:13GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform questioned financial industry CEOs about compensation

Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Seasonally adjusted employment fell by 63K according to establishment survey

John Vause _CNN_
Red Chinese hackers

Ruy Teixeira _Center for American Progress_
Economic concern hits new high

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
U.S. worried that high H-1B demand may tempt some to "game" visa lottery

S&P 5001,293.37
10-year US T-Bond3.54%
crude oil$105.15/barrel

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


Shaheen Samavati _Cleveland Plain Dealer_
New northeast Ohio information technology graduates are hungry for jobs
"Researchers from LCCC, Cleveland State University, Cypress Research Group, NorTech and Team NEO participated in the project...   Researchers estimated that at least 11,700 IT workers are needed or will be needed in the near future...   at least 80% of openings are probably not advertised on-line, said Dorothy Baunach, president and chief executive of NorTech."


2008-03-08 17:03PST (2008-03-08 20:03EST) (2008-03-09 01:03GMT) Christine Kearney _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
The NFAP is a front organization for Stuart Anderson, who has been in the business of promoting H-1B ever since he left the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 2003.   Stuie is just another sordid example of the corrupting influence of the revolving door in Washington, DC.
So here is Stuart Anderson's latest fastball -- see if you can catch it:
According to the NFAP, for each H-1B position requested in labor condition applications at least 7.5 additional workers were hired.   A mere application for an H-1B creates jobs for Americans, according to the NFAP.   Just like Midas, anything that an H-1B touches turns to gold!
The most obvious flaw with Stuart Anderson's study is that he never said what types of additional job positions were created, and never [establishes a causal relationship] between new positions created and the hiring of an H-1B.   Anybody the company incidentally hires could be used to pump up and distort the bogus statistic -- which means that jobs that might be included would be ones like janitors, construction crews, errand boys, security guards, or any other type of worker.
If you believe the NFAP study, and you can bet most of the main-stream media will, every time a company hires an H-1B there are many times more Americans that get put on the pay-roll.   The luminaries that authored this study, such as economist Jagdish Bhagwati [who has worked with Anderson before], seem to think that the H-1B program creates more jobs than it destroys.   Actually it would be more valid to conclude that companies hire more janitors and security guards than H-1B visa holders -- which is not exactly a revelation.
If H-1B creates jobs as the NFAP claims, then that means every time an H-1B is hired the unemployment rate should go down because at least 7 job seekers get hired.   I enjoyed the fuzzy math from the last news-letter so much I decided to do some simple math to calculate how many H-1Bs are needed to solve our nation's unemployment problem.
According the the BLS, there are 7.4M unemployed people [actively seeking work] in the U.S.A.   Keep in mind that the number of jobless [and under-employed] people is far higher...
You can see
the recent unemployment stats here (pdf) [and see graphs here].
Assuming that every H-1B creates 5 jobs for Americans (conservative estimate), we need to allow about 1.5M more H-1Bs to come to the U.S.A. to drive unemployment down to zero.   In the month of February, employers cut 63K jobs, which means we would have had to issue 12,600 H-1B visas just to break even for this month.   Does anybody actually believe that 12K H-1Bs a month would solve unemployment problems?
The NFAP doesn't stop with that tomfoolery -- they say that US high-tech companies have on average 470 job openings because, as they say, there just aren't enough talented Americans:
A key problem America faces is the long-term stagnation in U.S. skill level and the legislative inertia that hasprevented liberalizing U.S. immigration laws to permit the entry and retention of talented people from around the world.
The NFAP claims that there are more than 140K total job openings for skilled positions available...

Robert Constanza _Los Angeles Times_
The USA's 3-decade recession
"The American quality of life has been going downhill since 1975...   By some measures of economic performance, the United States has been in a recession since 1975 -- a recession in quality of life, or well-being...   GDP measures the total market value of all goods and services produced in a country in a given period.   But it includes only those goods and services traded for money.   It also adds everything together, without discerning desirable, well-being-enhancing economic activity from undesirable, well-being-reducing activity...   GDP also ignores activity that may enhance well-being but is outside the market.   The unpaid work of parents caring for their children at home doesn't show up in GDP, but if they decide to work outside the home and pay for child care, GDP suddenly increases.   And even though $1 in income means a lot more to the poor than to the rich, GDP takes no account of income distribution...   GDP was never intended to be a measure of citizens' welfare -- and it functions poorly as such...   GPI peaked about 1975 and has been relatively flat or declining ever since.   That's consistent with life-satisfaction surveys, which also show flat or dropping scores over the last several decades."

2008-03-10 15:00PDT (18:00EDT) (22:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs, Bill Tucker & Kim Berry _CNN_
H-1B visas... more or less

Lou Dobbs: It just goes on and on. Corporate America is now demanding the right to import more cheap labor from over-seas into this country to replace American workers.   Bill Gates is expected to push congress to raise the limit of H-1B visas as he did last year.   M$ is just one of dozens of tech companies lobbying Congress now for more of these visas, a plan supported by each, each of these presidential candidates regardless of party.   Bill Tucker has our report.
Bill Tucker:: The message from CompeteAmerica, a lobbying group for coalition of multinational corporations is clear.   They're demanding more H-1B visas for highly skilled individuals.
Robert Hoffman, CompeteAmerica and Oracle lobbyist: The choice is really simple.   If the labor pool isn't there, if we can't find the people with the skills that we need to work in the United States then we have to consider our options over-seas.
Bill Tucker:: Presidential candidates McCain, Obama and Clinton all support that demand.   What CompeteAmerica ideally wants is summed up in last year's Senate testimony by M$'s Bill Gates.
Bill Gates: Even though it may not be realistic I don't think there should be any limit.
Bill Tucker:: The current cap is 65K plus another 20K for foreign students with graduate degrees.   The Programmers Guild, the coalition of high tech workers, is fighting any increase noting they have experienced members with graduate degrees being overlooked for work.
Kim Berry, Programmers Guild: They need more H-1Bs because they need to hire the new graduates out of school.   Well these people have no experience, so if that's what they need they could just as well take these people with 10 or 20 years of experience, hire them as new grads, give them the same training.
Bill Tucker:: Supporters of this current guest worker program say it is for the brightest and the best, but that's not how the visas are awarded.   They are awarded by random lottery.
Vivek Wadhwa, former bodyshopper, Duke and Harvard university researcher: You have got scientists.   You have got doctors competing with low-level programmers.   And it does not discriminate.   Everyone is feeding from the same dish here.   It puts the best (INAUDIBLE) at a disadvantage.
Bill Tucker:: That is not the only flaw.   Four government-produced reports in 1996, in 2000, in 2003, and again in 2006, document problems with the program.   In several independent reports show H-1B tech workers are typically paid less than an American worker doing the same job.   And incredibly, 8 of the top 10 users of the program are not American companies.
Bill Tucker:: Critics of the H-1B program point to that fact as well as the most recent jobs report as indications that we don't need to be giving away increasingly scarce American jobs.   Bill Tucker, CNN, New York.
Lou Dobbs: And those eight of 10 companies that are receiving the H-1B visas, they're not receiving them to do business, for example, somewhere else.   They're doing it so that they can out-source domestically as well as internationally good paying American jobs.
Lou Dobbs: Well the dead-line for application for H-1B visas [for FY2009 which runs from 2008-10-01 through 2009-09-30] is April 1, April Fool's Day, and a record number of visa petitions are expected this year.   Last year the United States received more than 120K visa petitions over 2 days.

Sheldon Richman _Future of Freedom Foundation_
Would-Be Rulers without Clothes

Patrick J. Buchanan _V Dare_
To Die for NAFTA

Michael Krigsman & Ed Yourdon _Ziff Davis_
13 problems with productivity metrics

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Charles Grassley describes black market in H-1B visas in letter to DHS
Grassley's press release
Patrick Thibodeau: Industry Standard
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee: Information Week/CMP/UBM
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee: EE Times/CMP/UBM

Myrle Croasdale _American Medical News_
Foreign medical grads find H-1B visas have less strings than J-1 visas
"Recruiting physicians for rural and urban underserved areas is always difficult. It's worse now, as the number of IMGs on J-1 visa waivers declines and more enter the country on less-restrictive temporary specialized worker H1-B visas. The J-1 visa requires physicians to return to their home country for two years after residency. Physicians can stay if they agree to work in an underserved area for 3 years... Data from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates show that the number of IMGs entering the United States on J-1 visas has dropped steadily, from 11,471 from 1996-97 to 6,033 from 2006-07. Of this group, 903 opted to stay in the U.S. in 2006, a 34% decline from 1995, when 1,374 physicians got J-1 waivers..."

Jane Shaw _View from 1776_
K-12 education suffers from lack of competition
"only about 11% of all K-12 students are taught in private schools.   That figure does not include the 1M–plus [students educated at home] in the country, however.   American higher education, on the other hand, is all about choice.   The sheer number of institutions—2500 four-year schools and a total of more than 4K post-secondary schools—has no peer in any other country.   These institutions fill a diverse array of niches, from traditional religion-based education to curricula emphasizing liberal activism, from majors in gender studies to genetics, and with vocational choices from golf course management to nuclear medicine technology.   These schools seek out students because (unlike K-12 students) they pay tuition.   Even though [tax-victims] subsidize tuition at public universities, tuition is a critical funding source at schools both public and private.   Students with federal financial aid carry it with them and use it like a voucher.   (In K-12, additional students simply mean additional burdens on the community's tax base.)"

_Root for America!_
Wayne Allyn Root won Colorado and Michigan Libertarian presidential preference primaries

2008-03-11: 34 weeks to federal elections of president and congress-critters

_First Principles_/_Heritage Foundation_
Low-skilled immigration does not raise US wages

Jefferson Graham _USA Today_/_Gannett_
Google closes deal to buy DoubleClick for $3.1G: more US workers to lose jobs than over-seas
"...determine staffing levels and responsibilities, Google CEO Eric Schmidt wrote in a posting at Google's company blog.   He said he expected some job cuts, more in the USA than over-seas."

David Mamet _Village Voice_
Why I am no longer a "brain-dead liberal"

Linda Thom _V Dare_
Why Not a Border Control Satellite?
"Securing our borders is possible.   Congress simply lacks the will."

Mike Masnick _Tech Dirt_
Battle over H-1B visa program continues

2008-03-11 (5768 Adar2 04)
Paul Johnson _Jewish World Review_
What is a genius?   We use the word frequently, but surely, to guard its meaning, we should bestow it seldom

2008-03-11 (5768 Adar2 04)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
The costs of crime
"The relevant comparison would be between the cost of keeping a criminal behind bars and the cost of letting him loose in society. But neither the New York Times nor others on the left show any interest in that comparison."

  "Earmarks are the gateway drug for over-spending." --- senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) 2008-03-11  



Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
another badly flawed NFAP study
The _National Foundation for Anti-USA Policy_, a grandiose name for the one-person "foundation" run by industry advocate Stuart Anderson, has released yet another "study" extolling the virtues of the H-1B work visa.   Sadly, this one is even more badly flawed than its predecessors.
The enclosed article notes that
Stuart, a former staff director of the Senate Immigration subcommittee, says NFAP, is "a non-profit, non-partisan public policy research organization that's independently funded by foundations and private contributors, and does not lobby for legislation".
This is a tax law technicality, folks.   Many organizations (including by the those who promote reductions in immigration) operate under the 501(c)3 section of the tax code, which grants tax-exempt status to organizations that do not "lobby" but who are freely allowed to "educate" Congress.   You get the drift here, I'm sure.   And "non-partisan" simply means that NFAP is not formally associated with one party or the other.
Anderson is hardly an unbiased researcher.   He's been making a living writing articles supporting the H-1B program since the mid-1990s, hired for example by the Information Technology Association of America [ITAA], one of the major lobbyists for an expanded H-1B program.   Though he is not saying who his present employer is, the fact that the lobbyists who quote him the most are immigration attorneys would seem to point to the American Immigration Lawyers Association [AILA] or their American Immigration Law Foundation [AILF] is his main funder.
Though Anderson cites his work in the Senate -- where he authored the H-1B expansion bills of 1998 and 2000 -- he doesn't mention that he subsequently served as Executive Associate Commissioner in the INS Office of Policy and Planning during the first term of George W. Bush.   The INS (now USCIS) stopped making data available to researchers at the time Anderson was there, and I suspect that this is no coincidence.   A
Washington Monthly article at the time contained this passage:
"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."
Now, what about Anderson's analysis in this latest report?   His main results involve statistical regression analysis, so as a former statistics professor I will now give you a crash course in regression.   (Don't worry; this will be quick and simple.)
In its basic form, a regression model estimates a presumed linear relationship between a response variable Y and predictor variables X1, X2 and so on.   Here the word "relationship" means that the mean of Y for fixed values of X1, X2 and so on is a linear function:
    mean Y = c0 + c1 X1 + c2 X2 + ...
for some constants c0, c1, c2 and so on to be estimated by our sample data.   For instance, we might analyze human mean weight as a linear function of height and age.   (Note the word "mean", often overlooked.)   BTW, the term "linear" refers to the c's, not the X's.)
Many thick books have been published on this methodology, showing for example how to assess the validity of the linearity assumption etc.   But really, you now know the basic notions.   BTW, to learn more about statistics, see my on-line statistics course.
Anderson had Y = job growth for a firm, X1 = number of H-1Bs the firm applied to hire and X2 = current number of jobs at the firm.   (Y and X1 are both given as percentages of X2.)   His main finding is that c1 has an approximate value of 5, which he correctly interprets as meaning that the mean increase in jobs is about 5 times the increase in H-1B applications.
But what does that say?   It simply says that about 20% of the new jobs go to H-1Bs.   It doesn't say that the H-1B workers caused the creation of new jobs.
Suppose a company tends to hire about 1% of its workers as H-1Bs.   Then by Anderson's reasoning, each H-1B is creating 100 new jobs at the firm!
IOW, there is zero content in Anderson's analysis.
As I said, that was Anderson's main point, so I could end this post right here.   He made an embarrassing statistical error, and that's that.
But it's important to bring up some other points here:
1.   The R-squared value, which is the classical measure of predictive ability in regression, is only 0.0687 in Anderson's main regression.   IOW, his X1 and X2 are only explaining less than 7% of the variation in Y.   Anderson concedes that this figure is "relatively low", but it's actually absurdly low.   Basically, an R-squared value of 7% is saying that X1 and X2 have almost NO relationship to Y.   And by the way, the sample R-squared is known to have a tendency to be an over-estimate, so the situation is even worse still.
2.   Even if some of the jobs filled by H-1Bs have some sort of job-creation abilities, e.g. development of new products, one could fill the jobs with U.S. citizens and permanent residents and still get the same job-generating effects.
3. Anderson is egregiously misusing the term "statistically significant", which merely means "not due to random chance".   It does not imply practical importance.
4.   After spending a good part of the last 2 years blasting H-1B critic John Miano for using LCAs to study the H-1B issue -- Anderson's point being that LCAs are only *applications* to hire H-1Bs and thus do not necessarily represent the number of H-1Bs actually hired -- Anderson has the chutzpah here to base his analysis on LCAs!   He does make a disclaimer along these lines in the appendix of his report, but no one will see that.
5.   Anderson also claims,
If the proposition was true that companies hire H-1B professionals because they're cheaper, then when businesses hit hard times they should hire more H-1Bs to save money.   However, the analysis shows that, overall, H-1B filings at U.S. technologies declined when companies hit hard times, undermining the perennial assertion that H-1Bs are hired as "cheap labor".
This is ridiculous.   If companies don't have job openings, they can't hire anyone, including H-1Bs.
Anderson has out-done himself with this report.

_M$_/_PR News Wire_
Gates asked for more subsidies from the federal government, today
John Fontana & Denise Dubie: Network World
House Science & Technology committee's version
Seattle Post Intelligencer

Denise Dubie _Network World_/_CIO_
Why the H-1B visa has such a bad reputation
"Yet for IT workers, many of whom say there are currently many challenges they face in getting hired by a U.S. company, the program can only been seen as having a negative impact on the American economy as firms look to hire less expensive, foreign workers for jobs that could be filled by U.S. citizens.   'Executives are being told by their hiring managers that there are not skilled workers in the U.S.A. and they must seek H-1Bs to fill positions.', says Terri Morgan, a principal at Wudang Research Association who says she has encountered issues when seeking IT employment from U.S. companies, such as IBM.   'There are a whole host of us out here that have really good skills and know the culture, but maybe we don't have one item on the check list HR is seeking.   H-1B applicants know how to manipulate the system and companies know how to make it appear as though they exhausted their options here.'"

Daniela Perdomo _Los Angeles Times_
2 lawyers in Sherman Oaks sentenced for visa fraud
Business Week
"Two local immigration attorneys were sentenced Monday for filing false employment visa applications for foreign nationals, including more than a dozen who worked at their San Fernando Valley law firm.   Daniel E. Korenberg, 58, of Encino, a founder and senior partner at ASK Law Group in Sherman Oaks, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison and 3 years' probation, including 6 months in home detention with electronic monitoring, authorities said.   Korenberg, who had pleaded guilty to 2 counts of visa fraud and one count of conspiracy, was also fined $750K.   Steven James Rodriguez, 41, of Thousand Oaks, a senior associate attorney at the firm, was sentenced to three years' probation, including 6 months of home detention with electronic monitoring, authorities said.   Rodriguez, who had pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to federal agents, also was ordered by Judge Percy Anderson to serve 200 hours of community service."

Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
H-1B visas have been abused to erode the USA's competitive advantage

_Big News Network_
Indian consulate in Chicago allegedly issued passports in exchange for bribes

Martin Walker _UPI_
Europe's flawed law-makers
Jason Mick: Daily Tech
CNN/Thomson Financial News
"Americans may not know this, but like everyone else on the planet, they are increasingly living by European rules without knowing much about who sets them.   M$ has already learned to its cost the European Union's clout, having been hit with a record $1.3G [899M Euros] fine for breaching Europe's competition rules [and $2.6G ($1.68G Euros?) in total fines].   Now American food companies, including Wal-Mart and McDonald's and the Wegmans super-market chain, are following Europe's food-quality standards and buying only food that has been certified to exacting EU standards by the Germany-based GlobalGap inspection firm.   ('Gap' stands for good agricultural practice and imposes strict limits on pesticides and fertilizer use and farm hygiene.)   In June the toiletries industry will follow suit with the unveiling of EU standards for natural and organic cosmetics, and clear labeling rules.   A similar measure for organic foods 15 years ago is credited with kick-starting the organic food movement.   The global chemical industry has already had to learn to abide by the EU's Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals system for production, use, storage and transport of chemicals, designed to make companies prove that substances in everyday products from cars to clothes to computers are safe.   Then there is Restriction of Hazardous Substances, which is aimed at removing six substances from Europe's economy: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers.   We should not forget the directive on Waste Electronic and Electric Equipment...   [On the plus side...] European rules are also protecting global privacy.   M$, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Procter & Gamble have all pledged to provide European-grade privacy protection to their customers in the United States and around the world [while investing heavily in privacy violating tools].   They have to tell their employees and customers what data is to be collected on them and how it will be used [and abused], and seek permission from employees and customers before collecting information or sharing it with others.   The U.S. companies have agreed to do this even though it is not required by law -- except in the EU market that is far too big to ignore."

_Iowa Politics_
Take a memo: some companies are more concerned about their bottom line than education and training
Senator Grassley asked:
* Do you believe that American workers both deserve and, under the law should have, the first chance at high skilled, high paying jobs in the United States?
* Do you oppose increased enforcement of the program, including random audits of those that use the H-1B visas?
* Do you see bad apples using the program?   Do you acknowledge that there are companies who undermine the system and pay lower salaries and/or benefits to foreign workers?
* Do you support efforts to make it more transparent for the U.S. [tax-victims] to view job openings and job vacancies that are filled by H-1B visa workers?
* Do you oppose efforts to require employers to better advertise job openings so that American workers can have a chance at the jobs before they are taken by foreign workers?

Andy Patrizio _Internet News_
Which IT sectors will weather a financial storm?
Inside Bay Area
"IDC has lowered its forecasts for IT spending in the U.S. and western Europe based on what they have seen in the decline of economic indicators...   The 4 BRIC nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, [Red China] -- are expected to increase IT spending between 10% and 20% this year...   The hardware most likely to be affected by a reduction in spending, not surprisingly, is PCs, followed by mobile devices -- smart phones in particular.   Storage is least likely to be cut, followed by networking hardware.   Software reductions are also anticipated, but at a much slower rate than hardware.   Office and operating systems are most likely to get the chop (bad news for M$), while security and compliance software is least likely to be cut."

Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Republicans and "Free" Market Zealots Bring Death to the USA

2008-03-12 (5768 Adar2 05)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
"Non-Judgmental" Non-Sense: What was he thinking!?!?

2008-03-12 (5768 Adar2 05)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Big corn and ethanol hoax
"The ethanol hoax is a good example of a problem economists refer to as narrow, well-defined benefits versus widely dispersed costs.   It pays the ethanol lobby to organize and collect money to grease the palms of politicians willing to do their bidding because there's a large benefit for them -- higher wages and profits.   The millions of gasoline consumers, who fund the benefits through higher fuel and food prices, as well as taxes, are relatively uninformed and have little clout.   After all, who do you think a politician will invite into his congressional or White House office to have a heart-to-heart -- you or an Archer Daniels Midlands executive?"

Americans who have been harmed by guest-work visa programs

  "The rights of the people to be secured in their persons, their houses, their papers, & their other property from all unreasonable searches & seizures, shall not be violated by warrants issued without probable cause..." --- James Madison 1789-06-08 proposal for Bill of Rights (quoted in Charlene Bangs Bickford & Helen E. Veit 1986 _Documentary History of the 1st Federal Congress 1789-1791_ vol 4 pp 10-11; quoted in Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pg 51)  



2008-03-13 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 338,756 in the week ending March 8, a decrease of 6,572 from the previous week.   There were 298,927 initial claims in the comparable week in 2007.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5% during the week ending March 1, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,342,839, a decrease of 37,143 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.3% and the volume was 3,016,840.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending Feb. 23."

_Information Week_/_CMP_
Ill-Begotten Monstrosities aims to employ over 50K Indians... while dumping US workers

2008-03-13 08:03PST (11:03EDT) (15:03GMT)
Malcolm Ritter _CNN_/_AP_
95% of Amerindians can be traced back to 6 fore-mothers who lived 20K years ago
Salt Lake Tribune
abc news
National Geographic
Washington Times
Joe Bauman: Deseret Morning News
Composite: "The research was published on-line Wednesday by the Public Library of Science.   The study is titled, 'The Phylogeny of the Four Pan-American MtDNA Haplogroups: Implications for Evolutionary and Disease Studies'.   Its authors are Antonio Torroni, the lead author and Perego's mentor, and Alessandro Achilli and Antonio Torroni, all of the University of Pavia; Ugo A. Perego and Scott R. Woodward of Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation; Claudio M. Bravi of Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biologia Celular, La Plata, Argentina; Michael D. Coble of the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Rockville, MD; Qing-Peng Kong of the Kunming Institute of Zoology, Kunming, Red China; Antonio Salas of the Hospital Clinic University, Alicia, Spain; and Hans-Urgent Brandel of the University of Hamburg, Germany.   By noting mutations in each branch and applying a formula for how often such mutations arise, they calculated how old each branch was."
Atlas/Time-Line of Human History

Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Watching the Dollar Be Debased
"When I was a young man, gold was $35 an ounce.   Today one ounce gold bullion coins, such as the Canadian Maple Leaf, cost more than $1K.   Our coinage was silver.   Our dimes, quarters, and half dollars had purchasing power.   Even the nickel could purchase a candy bar, ice cream cone or soft drink, and a penny could purchase bubble gum or hard candy.   If a kid could collect 5 discarded soft drink bottles from a construction site, the 2 cents deposit on the returnable bottles was enough for the Saturday afternoon movie.   Gasoline was 32 cents a gallon.   A dollar's worth was enough for a Saturday night date.   Our silver coinage was 90% silver."

Tom Foremski _Ziff Davis_
Tech CEOs roll out their agenda in lobbying to congress


2008-03-14 07:27PDT (10:27EDT) (14:27GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell slightly from 70.8 in February to 70.5 in March, lowest in 16 years

2008-03-14 14:05PDT (17:05EDT) (21:05GMT)
William L. Watts & Lisa Twaronite _MarketWatch_
Euro hits new highs
"The dollar index was at 71.658, down from 72.047 in London earlier Friday.   The euro was trading at $1.5669, up from $1.5566 in London earlier.   The European unit rose as high as $1.5686, a new record high since it began trading in 1999 January.   The dollar was more stable against the British pound sterling, which was at $2.0215, compared with $2.0292 in London.   Earlier, the pound rose as high as $2.0396.   The dollar bought 99.14 yen, down from 100.54 yen in London.   The dollar earlier fell as low as 98.87 yen, levels not seen since 1995.   The dollar was buying 0.9981 Swiss francs, dropping below parity with that unit for the first time ever to a low of 0.9970."

2008-03-13 21:45PDT (2008-03-14 00:45EDT) (2008-03-14 04:45GMT)
Jerome R. Corsi _World Net Daily_
Mexican truck drivers given English exam in Spanish: Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters's confession to senate contradicted administration's assurances
"at the Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing Tuesday, Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters and DOT Inspector General Calvin L. Scovel III reluctantly admitted under intense questioning from senator Byron Dorgan, D-ND, that Mexican drivers were being designated at the border as 'proficient in English' even though they could explain U.S. traffic signs only in Spanish.   In the tense hearing, Dorgan accused Peters of being arrogant and in reckless disregard of a congressional vote to stop the Mexican trucking demonstration project by taking away funds to continue the project...   'I've treated you respectfully today, Secretary Peters, but I don't respect your decision.', Dorgan said.   'You have angered me further with your testimony and you reflect a Bush administration that obviously doesn't care what Congress thinks.'   As WND reported yesterday, Dorgan accused Peters of defying Congress by parsing words to continue to allow Mexican trucks into the U.S.A. under the demonstration project, despite the clear intent of Congress to take away funds to bring the program to a halt."

Chloe Albanesius _PeeeCeee Magazine_/_Ziff Davis_
What Bill Gates wants, corrupt congress-critters jump to deliver
"A bill from senator Lamar Smith, R-Texas, would increase the annual cap on H-1B visas to 195K, while a similar bill from Democrat Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona would increase the cap to 130K in 2008, and increase it thereafter depending on demand."
follow the money

Mark Schoeff _Work-Force Management_
Election-Year Politics Push Immigration to Top of the Agenda

Andres Viglucci _Miami Herald_/_McClatchy_
Emilio T. Gonzalez resigned as USCIS chief
"While he earned praise from advocates for accessibility and responsiveness, his tenure was marked by a sharp increase in fees charged to immigrants, a step Gonzalez said was necessary to finance badly needed improvements at the agency, including hiring workers to reduce back-logs."

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
St. Joseph's Day -- Mostly Forgotten in USA
"March 19th... Joseph, the carpenters' patron saint and the guardian of the Church, is frequently described as having been 'a tireless worker' and 'a just man'.   Unlike the spirited celebrations in Ireland for St. Patrick, St. Joseph's Day in Italy (and especially in Sicily) is a subdued, almost solemn occasion.   According to tradition, huge banquet tables, called St. Joseph's Table, are set out in public for the poor so that they can eat as much as they want.   Special foods, flowers and linens are provided each year with every one of means in the village contributing.   The display is set around a statue of St. Joseph holding the baby Jesus and surrounded by votive candles...   one of its most important traditions is baking and serving the famous loaf shaped like a scepter."

Mark J. Perry
Industrial output increasing faster than manufacturing employment

S&P 5001,212.49
10-year US T-Bond3.42%
crude oil$110.21/barrel

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


Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1837
Congress proposes to make matters worse
Bill Gates came to Washington DC to get more H-1Bs, and it appears that Congress is reciprocating.   Two bills were just announced that could double and/or triple the number of H-1B visas. Both bills are being called emergency H-1B hikes which means that Gates must be cracking the whip.
* The Innovation Employment Act (HR5630) sponsored by representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), would double the H-1B cap to 130K beginning in 2008 and would allow the cap to almost triple to 180K if the limit is reached in the preceding year.   At the same time, it would potentially allow in many more foreigners, as the bill would exempt from that cap anyone who has received a master's or doctorate from a U.S. university in math, science, engineering, and other technology fields (STEM).   It would also undermine the value of a U.S. education by allowing up to 20K additional H-1B visas to be allotted for people who obtained STEM degrees from institutions outside the United States.   The Giffords bill contains a few reforms that are transparent attempts at placating opposition -- like for instance some restrictions on how bodyshops could use H-1Bs.   The text on this bill isn't available yet.
* The Strengthening United States Technology And Innovation Now (or Sustain) Act, proposed by Lamar Smith (R-TX), would raise the visa cap to 195K in 2008 and 2009. No more detail is available at the time of this writing.
I would like to take issue with a statement made by Rep. Giffords:
Giffords sees the importance of H-1Bs because Southern Arizona has been growing as a hub for tech companies, Karamargin added.   "There's a need to stay competitive and keep the momentum growing.", he added.   "That means making sure the talent is available to drive the local and national tech economy."
The entire premise of Giffords' stated reason to raise H-1B is flawed because Southern Arizona has very few high-tech jobs.   If there is an issue with foreign labor in Southern Arizona it would be mostly centered on giving illegal aliens guest worker visas to do farm-work, construction, and other types of manual labor.   Most of the high-tech jobs in that area are in Tucson, which is actually a minor player in high-tech compared to the much larger Phoenix metropolitan area.   Tucson's largest employer of H-1Bs is the University of Arizona, which is exempt from the limits.   There are a few companies in Tucson who use H-1Bs such as Raytheon, Breault, and IBM but their numbers are not very significant compared to most high-tech hubs.   About the only others that use H-1B in significant numbers in Southern Arizona are school districts who use them for teachers and a few state agencies that use them for various support functions.
Perhaps lots of H-1Bs would be attracted to Southern Arizona if the DHS needed a few more technicians to set up video cams for the virtual fence on the border.   LOL!
Wishful thinking about high-tech employers moving to Arizona might be part of Giffords enthusiasm for H-1B but her motivations go far deeper.   She isn't just trying to placate a few local employers or working to impress Bill Gates.   Giffords is beholden to the Republican National Committee who not only allowed her to win but actively supported her even though she is a liberal Democrat.   The RNC allowed Giffords to replace representative Kolbe because they wanted someone who would continue his legacy of pro-immigration boosterism.   Before the election Giffords' biggest claim to fame was that she was the wife of an astronaut.
If there is ever an argument for saying both political parties are one and the same.   Gabrielle Giffords is a perfect example.
Awhile ago I wrote a short essay about how Giffords won the election.

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Reasons H-1B visa cap may increase
Norm Matloff "H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
[This was] an excellent blog by Computerworld reporter Patrick Thibodeau, listing 5 reasons why congress [may] raise the H-1B cap, and boy, did he nail it.   He even correctly noted that the opponents of the H-1B program can't count on IEEE-USA, a putative H-1B-critic.   We still don't know what will happen in congress, but there are now 2 new bills to expand H-1B, and I think Thibodeau's analysis is right on the mark.   However, I must add a few reasons to his list:
Reason 6: Congress won't see through Bill Gates' misleading testimony.
Gates has an aura, certainly not deserved in the view of many of us techies who eschew his software (I'm a long-time Linux user), but definitely effective on Capitol Hill, which is populated largely by gullible technophobes.   Yet you don't have to know a byte from a bite to see that M$ has been outrageously untruthful.   Consider for example the following:
* M$ claims they need H-1B to keep jobs in the U.S., and only resort to offshoring if they can't find workers here.   Yet in an internal presentation made to managers, M$ said, "Pick something to move off-shore today."
* M$ claims they can't hire developers, yet they asked their contractors to take a week's furlough to save money.
* M$ admitted that most of the developers it hires are young.   As I've often mentioned, it is not generally understood, even by critics of the H-1B program, that H-1B is largely used as a way to avoid hiring the older (age 35 or 40) American workers.
* M$ salaries aren't keeping up with inflation.   What kind of "labor shortage" produces declining wages, I ask you?
It's not just M$ that is deceiving the public.   The entire tech industry is just as culpable, continuing to insist that the U.S. educational system just isn't producing enough techies.
The data show otherwise.   The recent Urban Institute study demonstrated that we are producing more than enough STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduates for our economy (see my report at http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/Archive/UrbanInst2.txt).   Starting salaries have been flat or falling.   I've show such data before, and one of my readers points out the latest...
From the National Association of Colleges and Employers web site:
The starting salaries for college grads in 2001:
The starting salaries for college grads in 2007:
The starting salary for computer science grads was $52,473 in 2001 and $53,051 in 2007.   Inflation for this time period has been about 16% but yet the starting salary for computer science grads only increased by 1%.

The educational system itself is happy to chime in to agree with the industry claims, as they want to get donations from industry too, and want to leverage the "labor shortage" into more funding for schools and universities.   Last week the Dean of Engineering at CSUS told the student newspaper that employers are desperate to hire.   The good dean is quoted as saying, "When I meet with representatives of industry, they are not asking for engineers -- they are yelling for them." Yet the listings at CSUS' Engineering/Computer Science placement office are meager, at least in the computer fields; other than a listing from Accenture [formerly Anderson Consulting], and a few civil service job openings (most of which will likely be canceled due to the California budget crisis), there's basically almost nothing there.
Last week one of my best students told me that Cisco had just informed him that the firm would not be hiring any interns from UC Davis this year, down from 14 last year.   Apparently the firm is tightening their belts even at the intern level.
Reason 7: Congress doesn't want to know these truths anyway, as they don't want to jeopardize the lavish campaign contributions Congress receives from the tech [executives].
Recall that the last time Congress raised the H-1B cap, there were explicit public statements by politicians stating the Congress enacted the increase solely to get campaign money.   Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT) remarked, "Once it's clear (the visa bill) is going to get through, everybody signs up so nobody can be in the position of being accused of being against high tech.   There were, in fact, a whole lot of folks against it, but because they are tapping the high-tech community for campaign contributions, they don't want to admit that in public." (Carolyn Lochhead "Bill to Boost Tech Visas Sails Through Congress: Clinton Expected to Sign Popular Measure" San Francisco Chronicle 2000 October 4)   A major supporter of pending legislation which would increase the H-1B quota, representative Tom Davis (R-VA), said, "This is not a popular bill with the public.   It's popular with the CEOs...   This is a very important issue for the high-tech executives who give the money." ("Committee To Address Bill Eliminating H-1B Cap" National Journal Technology Daily 2000 May 5 and Lars-Erik Nelson, "Pols Are Going Overboard On Visa Program" New York Daily News 2000 May 3) Representative Davis was chair of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee.
Reason 8: The Programmers Guild and many other critics of the H-1B program are diluting whatever influence they have (which Thibodeau correctly points out is limited compared to the huge clout wielded by the tech industry) by focusing on the second-sourcing issue (in which a firm hires H-1Bs and then rents them out to other firms).
This is basically a non-issue.   If those firms disappeared tomorrow, their clients such as M$ would take up the slack and hire more H-1Bs directly.   Worse, PG and the others are thereby giving congress an opening in which congress could make some sort of restriction that appears to ban second-sourcing and thus claim to have made concessions to PG while actually not liberating any jobs for U.S. citizens and permanent residents at all, both because the restriction would be cosmetic and because, as I said, even with genuine restrictions the current clients of the bodyshops would simply hire more H-1Bs directly.
The remarks at the end of Thibodeau's blog include some from H-1Bs themselves, notably this one:
Submitted by Anonymous on 2008 March 16, 11:10
No, you need us to fix economy.   USA citizens have made a mess of the economy.   I hope these legislations have large increases in the green card quotas.   If enough of hi-skill H1 pros can get our green cards, then we can fix your mess.   Whiners who complain about H1 and green card programmes need to quit IT and go work WM, you unproductive ones will be laid off soon anyway :)

As this one speaks for itself, I won't comment, but I must say that I've seen messianic attitudes like this quite a bit among H-1Bs.   What they don't realize is that when THEY hit age 35 or 40, they will be displaced, too.

Dan Greenberg _Chronicle of Higher Education_
Bear Stearns exposed as a bank saddled with toxic sub-prime debt

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard _London Telegraph_
Shortage of Scientists and Engineers? Not Likely


Tibet protests spread to provinces of Red China
"Protests against [Red Chinese] rule of Tibet were reported in neighboring Sichuan and Qinghai provinces and also in western Gansu province.   All are home to sizable Tibetan populations...   [The Red Chinese government has a] policy of encouraging the ethnic Han majority to migrate to Tibet, restrictions on Buddhist temples and re-education programs for monks."

David R. Stokes _Town Hall_
Can't We All Just Not Get Along?


Kim Berry _Programmers Guild_
Programmers Guild calls for end to H-1b Lottery
"Congress introduced 3 bills that would double or triple the H-1b base cap: The so-called 'Innovation Employment Act', (HR5630) introduced by Representative Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ, would increase the cap in H-1B visas from 65K a year to 130K a year. [(202) 225-2542]   Representative Eric Cantor, R-VA, introduced the so-called 'Strengthening United States Technology and Innovation Now (SUSTAIN) Act' (HR5642) that would increase the H-1b cap to 195K. [202.225-2815]   A bill by senator Lamar Smith, R-Texas, would increase the annual cap on H-1B visas to 195K. [(202) 225-4236]   'None of these bills provide any meaningful protections for U.S. workers.', according to Kim Berry of the Programmers Guild...   2 criteria [should be used] in determining which H-1b visas to approve: Skill: H-1b workers with the highest skills should be given priority.   In no case should a 'PhD genetic researcher' lose out to a '$16/hour accountant'.   'We propose that the best proxy for skill is salary.   If H-1b were granted with a preference for salary, every $100K H-1b that Bill Gates filed would get approved.', according to Berry.'Any business with a critical need for an H-1b candidate could be assured of approval by paying a higher wage.   Since the median H-1b salary is about $55K, any H-1b paying more than about $65K would be approved.   We are not aware of any statute that mandates that USCIS use lottery versus some other selection criteria when over 65K applications are received on the first day.'...   According to Ron Hira, '[Off-shore out-sourcing] firms hire almost no Americans and their entire business model rests on shifting as many American jobs over-seas as fast as possible.'   The Programmers Guild agrees that any use of H-1b should serve the broad U.S. national interest.   'U.S. firms that will create U.S. jobs should have preference for U.S. H-1b visas', according to Kim Berry."
PC World/Washington Post
"But the NFAP studies ignore the fact that many H-1B visas are taken by [cross-border bodyshopping] off-shore out-sourcing firms, said Ron Hira, a public policy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and vice president for career activities at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-USA).   Eight of the top H-1B recipients in 2007 were offshore outsourcing firms, according to figures from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service [USCIS].   'These firms hire almost no Americans and their entire business model rests on shifting as many American jobs overseas as fast as possible.', he said.   'When 8 of the top 10 H-1B recipients are the who's who of off-shoring then I think it's an understatement to say the program is worse than a complete failure.'   Infosys, the Indian [bodyshopping and off-shore out-sourcing] company, received more than 4,500 H-1B visas in 2007, about 40 times the number Oracle received and 18 times the number Google received, Hira said.   Hira also questioned the NFAP study suggesting companies receiving H-1B visas hired additional workers.   'The reports take fanciful leaps of logic to draw strong conclusions from weak or non-existent models.', he said.   The NFAP didn't examine most of the top H-1B recipients in its reports, because only 3 of the top recipients in 2007, Intel, M$ and Cognizant, are in the S&P 500, Hira said.   The job creation study also looked at worldwide hiring, not U.S. hiring, when H-1Bs would most closely affect U.S. hiring Hira said.   Many major tech companies in the U.S.A., including top-10 H-1B recipient Intel, have been cutting their work-force, Hira added.   'So in Intel's case the numbers would be negative.', Hira said.   'Few technology companies are growing their work-force rapidly.'"

_New America Media_/_World Journal_
Grassley criticizes Chertoff for not halting H-1B visa "black market"
"Some companies apply for H-1B work visas for people who don't have legal jobs waiting for them, and then lease the H-1B visa holders out to work for other companies, which is an illegal practice."

Patty McCarthy & Paula Blanchard Stone _Lansing State Journal_
Don't bury your point with data
"The tried-and-true technique of key messages was the secret to finding the fun again for this good doctor.   He now states his key messages clearly and concisely, right up front, and goes on to prove each one using a data point or two and examples and anecdotes that his audience can relate to."

2008-03-17 08:03PDT (11:03EDT) (15:03GMT)
Robert F. _gather_
There really is no labor shortage.   H-1B visas are not needed

2008-03-17 14:41PDT (17:41EDT) (21:41GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
NBER says signs suggest recession started in December
"The out-going head of the NBER, Martin Feldstein, said Friday that he believes the recession will be 'substantially more severe' than recent down-turns.   'The situation is very bad, the situation is getting worse and the risks are that it could get very bad.', he said in a speech to futures traders...   or most Americans, it's a recession when jobs are being lost.   Employment is the most important recessionary signal... Incomes... Industrial output... sales..."

Ethan Hasbrouck _Sun Herald_
New Jersey Tech Executives Lobby
"The New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC)... trip was made in conjunction with a DC Fly-In by technology councils from around the country who met with their respective federal delegations.   Ballen was especially proud of the fact that New Jersey's own Congressman Rush Holt (D-12) was the key speaker at a dinner attended by members of the Council of Regional Information Technology Associations (CRITA)...   The 2008 NJTC Government Affairs Agenda focuses on five areas: permanent R&D funding, expansion of the H-1B Visa program, the federal Science Technology Engineering Mathematics education initiative (STEM), the need for patent reform, and funding for nanotechnology."

Jim Brown _One News Now_
Executives should not be requesting more guest-work visas now
"An official with the immigration reduction group Numbers USA believes an attempt in Congress to import more foreign labor into the country would further endanger middle-class jobs held by Americans."

Debra Landis _Springfield Illinois Journal Register_
100mpg car could be worth $10M from Automotive X Prize
"It's asking for a car that can travel 100 miles on the equivalent of a single gallon of gasoline and be mass-produced because the public sees it as comfortable, reliable and reasonably priced...   Illuminati Motor Works is among more than 50 teams from 7 countries competing for the prize...   Aptera Motors of Carlsbad, CA, is backed by millions of dollars of venture capital...   the car will be 'a 4-seat, gasoline-compound hybrid running off multiple fuel sources' and that it will involve a new type of body composite."

Jacob G. Hornberger _Future of Freedom Foundation_
Government-Made Crises

Ephraim Schwartz _InfoWorld_
H-1B bill would discourage use of visa for bodyshopping, but increase the already vastly excessive numbers of visas
"It would also stop the practice of training them here and then sending them back to their home country to complete the work...   Meltzer's says that by sending H-1B visa recipients back to their home country to complete the work after training here the intention of H-1B is being short circuited and by extension the U.S.A. is actually losing U.S. high tech jobs.   Another part of the Giffords bill says that if you have 50 or more employees no more than half can be from the H-1B visa pool."

2008-03-18: 33 weeks to federal elections of president and congress-critters

2008-03-17 21:25PDT (2008-03-18 00:25) (2008-03-18 04:25GMT)
Lisa Bernard-Kuhn _Cincinnati Enquirer_
Tata plans to employ 500 out of Greater Cincinnati office
Tata/PR News Wire
John Ribeiro: PCWorld/Washington Post: India's Tata body shop sets up base in Ohio
"Part of India's largest industrial conglomerate, the Tata Group, TCS employs more than 100K information technology consultants in 47 countries.   Of the company's $4.3G in revenue last year, 50% came from its U.S. operations, according to the firm.   Monday's grand opening drew more than 150 business leaders and public officials, including governor Ted Strickland and lieutenant governor Lee Fisher...   The company received a 90% property tax break for 8 years to locate in Ohio, worth $15.5M."
class action against Tata

_USA Today_/_AP_
11 migrant workers slain in NE India
"7 migrant workers from northern Indian states were picked up on Monday night from their work places in a van and shot and killed on the outskirts of Imphal, the capital of Manipur state, said L.M. Khawte, a senior police officer.   Another 4 workers were killed in two separate shootings on Tuesday, said another police officer on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters...   This was the first attack on migrant workers in Manipur state.   However, in neighboring Assam state suspected separatists have killed nearly 300 migrants over the past 3 years.   Suspected rebels have been targeting thousands of Hindi-speaking migrants from northern states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh who they claim usurp the local population's job opportunities."

2008-03-18 07:05PDT (10:05EDT) (14:05GMT
Sunil Raman _BBC_
Illicit India blood farm raided
"The donors were impoverished migrant workers.   Some of them are said to have been giving blood for up to 2 years."

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes _Ziff Davis_
Apple captures 14% of micro-computer sales in February (up from 9% last Feb)
"Mac dollar share up from 16% in Feb 2007 to 25% in Feb 2008.   Note-book unit sales up 64% (compared to 20% in the retail segment as a whole).   Note-book unit revenue up 67% (compared to 11% in the retail segment as a whole).   Desk-top unit sales up 55% (compared to -5% in the retail segment as a whole).   Desk-top unit revenue up 68% (compared to -2% in the retail segment as a whole)."

Russell Goldman _abc_/_AP_
Public has little sympathy for Bear Stearns executives who are still walking away with millions
"As investment bank Bear Stearns collapsed, and was sold to JPMorgan Chase for a scant $240M, its chairman James Cayne... the company's CEO Alan Schwartz negotiated with JPMorgan Chase to sell Wall Street's fifth largest investment firm for $2 a share, 90% less than its value last week... Thousands of the company's employees whose savings were wrapped up in Bear Stearns stock options may have been ruined overnight, and a new light has been focused on the company's executives' spectacular down-fall and their own investments... An average Bear Stearns employee who had $200K in a retirement fund now has just $2K... Fearing a cash shortage, real estate clients caused essentially a run on the bank, withdrawing $17G in 2 days last week. Facing the prospect of bankruptcy, Schwartz sold to JPMorgan for a song compared with its value of $20G just 3 months ago... The JPMorgan Chase sale values [Cayne's] shares at just $11.2M."

2008-03-18 09:15PDT (12:15EDT) (16:15GMT)
John Ribeiro _PC World_/_IDG_
Indian Cross-Border Body Shop and Off-Shore Out-Sourcing Firm Tata Has Established Base of Operations in Ohio
"Located in Milford, Ohio, the North America Delivery Center can accommodate up to 1K staff, most of whom will be hired locally, the company said on Tuesday [echoing their claim for the Buffalo, NY office 2003-03-10]...   The company already has 40 offices in North America...   'We believe that in the long term any recession in the USA will lead companies in the U.S.A. to look at more areas to out-source to low-cost locations.', Pai said [thus further worsening the US economy]."
class action against Tata

Nathan McFeters _Ziff Davis_
Major flaw in Pennsylvania on-line voter registration violates privacy

Allan Wall _V Dare_
Mexican Billionaires Rake in Cash While Middle Class Americans Are Called Racists for Calling for an End to Illegal Immigration

Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
The Collapse of American Power

Chuck Baldwin _V Dare_
George Washington?   Who is that?
"School children are indoctrinated in political correctness, but are taught nothing of the fundamental principles of liberty upon which America was founded."

Frank Shostak _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
Fed's New Tricks Are Creating Disaster: the crisis is based on real factors and can't be merely papered over without grave consequence to economic health

2008-03-18 (5768 Adar2 11)
Paul Johnson _Jewish World Review_
Technological warfare against mice has't worked. Try cats

2008-03-18 (5768 Adar2 11)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Race and politics
"We don't need a President of the United States who got to the White House by talking one way, voting a very different way in the Senate, and who for 20 years followed a man whose words and deeds contradict [his] carefully crafted election year image."


Claire Cozens _France 24_
Protests against Red Chinese rule over Tibet spread worldwide
News Blaze
"Worldwide protests over [Red China's] crack-down in Tibet are spreading, putting pressure on Beijing's Communist leaders just months ahead of their show-piece Olympic Games in August.   Tibet's exiled leaders say about 100 people have been killed in a crack-down on anti-[Red Chinese] protests and have called for an international investigation.   [Red China] has denied wrongdoing and blamed Tibetans for the unrest.   Growing numbers of people are taking to the streets worldwide to protest against the crack-down, and rights groups have urged foreign governments to respond by keeping their officials away from the Beijing Olympics.   European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering said Tuesday political leaders would reconsider attending the opening ceremony if the 'repression' continued...   Lhadon Tethong, director of Students for a Free Tibet, told AFP that their New York office had also received abusive calls from people speaking Chinese, and added that they had received viruses via e-mail."

2008-03-19 08:13PDT (11:13EDT) (15:13GMT)
Jerome R. Corsi, PhD _World Net Daily_
Geno's Philly Cheese-Steak shop cleared of discrimination charge connected with sign: "This is America.   When ordering, please, speak English."
Carlisle Sentinel/AP
Fox Philadelphia
"'This is a great victory.', owner Joey Vento told WND today after the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations ruled his sign could stay in the window of Gino's Steaks South Philadelphia land-mark store...   'There was no testimony in the eight-hour hearing that found Joey or Gino Steaks did anything that violated the law.', [his lawyer, Al Weiss of the Philadelphia firm Blinder & Weiss] said.   'Joey never turned away anybody from any protected group from getting served at the restaurant.'...   Vento said, 'You have to assimilate here so the U.S.A. becomes your first country.'"

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_/_CMP_/_UBM_
New USCIS Process to Prohibit Filing Multiple H-1B Petitions for 1 Worker... Except for Company Parents/Subsidiaries
Patrick Thibodeau: Computer World
Anne Broache: CNET
San Jose Mercury News
Los Angeles Times
Chicago Tribune
"Last April, USCIS confirmed '500 incidents' where employers filed multiple H-1B visa petitions for a single worker, says a USCIS spokesman...   Meanwhile, American IT professional advocacy group Programmers Guild today is faxing a letter to USCIS urging the agency to dump its lottery method of issuing H-1B visas and instead evaluate applications based on the skills of visa candidates and give first preference to U.S. based employers seeking visas.   'H-1b workers with the highest skills should be given priority.', said Kim Berry, president of Programmer Guild in a statement."

Juhi Singhal _India Daily_
Indian IT companies continue to take advantage of H-1B visa loop-hole. Stop human trafficking. Ban H-1B without exensive laobr certification
"H1B visa allows Indian bodyshoppers (so called IT companies!) to transfer human beings as cyber slaves.   The debate is furious in Washington.   M$ wants cheap Indian talent.   Other American companies want the virtual slaves from India so that can circumvent labor laws in United States.   Indian companies like to make the differentials on hourly trade per human being -- nothing different from African slave dealers sending slaves to American cotton plantations three hundred years ago.   American politicians should stop this morally incomprehensible business of human trafficking.   The Indian and American companies transport cyber slaves through 2 kinds of visa mechanisms.   First, they use H-1B.   This is a temporary work visa The high tech worker is normally paid 40% less than his or her American counterpart.   Unlike labor certification requirement for green card, no one really checks if there is a willing and able American available for the job.   The second way is to use L-1 visa."

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1840
Amendments to worsen, amendment to improve H-1b visa program
Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) announced a new amendment to expand the H-1B program.   This is in addition to the two bills in the House that were recently introduced to triple the H-1B cap.
He intends to offer an amendment to the 2009 Senate Budget Bill.   On March 12 he made this announcement on the Senate Floor:
Taking my own advice, I will mention an amendment I intend to offer which deals with the H -1B issue.   H-1Bs are visas which go to people who can contribute immensely to our economy.
So who are these "smart people" that Gregg claims contribute to our economy?   They are the H-1Bs from overseas, not Americans.   He didn't come right out and say it, but the corollary to his statement is that Americans aren't smart enough to innovate without the help of brainy H-1Bs.   Gregg is spitting in the face of the constituents who put him into office.
We have an economy that depends on value added--smart people creating ideas which create jobs.   A lot of those smart people come from over-seas, and we should take advantage of them wanting to come to the United States.
Gregg is very self-assured:
I expect that this amendment will be strongly supported by those who wish to expand our economy, especially by advancing our leadership in the area of technology, and I know it will be strongly supported by everybody...
Senator Durbin asked Gregg whether Americans should be given preference for these jobs.   Gregg's answer was a simple "NO"!   His rationale is that H-1B creates so many jobs that Americans don't need protections.
Durbin: Does the Senator feel the option of job vacancies that may be filled by H -1B visa holders should first be offered to Americans to fill those jobs before an H-1B visa is given to a person coming from another country?
Mr. Gregg: I happen to believe the H -1B program is one of those programs that expands jobs in the United States, and by getting people here, you actually create jobs and you will create more jobs for Americans rather than lose jobs.
So, no, I don't happen to think you create a uniform rule that says nobody can come here if somebody else can take the job because then you are going to get the bureaucracy behind that which would basically bar those people from ever getting here.   That becomes then a bureaucratic nightmare for building those jobs.

You might be wondering where Gregg could get such a preposterous idea from.   Fortunately he provides us with the answer.
Bill Gates speaks to this far more eloquently than I do.   He speaks to most things more eloquently than I can because he can pronounce the words.
Bill Gates made the following statement on March 12 to the "Committee on Science and Technology, United States House of Representatives", which is the same day that Gregg talked on the senate floor.   Gregg might consider this statement to be eloquent but I think quackery might be a better description:
Gates: If we increase the number of H-1B visas that are available to U.S. companies, employment of U.S. nationals would likely grow as well.   For instance, M$ has found that for every H-1B hire we make, we add on average 4 additional employees to support them in various capacities.   Our experience is not unique.   A recent study of technology companies in the S&P 500 found that, for every H-1B visa requested, these leading U.S. technology companies increased their overall employment by 5 workers.
So far Gregg hasn't formally offered his amendment, but he saved many open amendments to the budget bill that he can use for any purpose he wants.   Expect Gregg's H-1B expansion to appear on one of the following: S.Amdt.4303-4306, 4327, 4354-4356, 4358, 4359.
The current amendments can be seen at this link.
NumbersUSA has a new fax campaign to protest Gregg's statement that his H-1B expansion "will be strongly supported by everybody".   For some reason NumbersUSA didn't mention that Gregg intends on amending the budget bill.

2008-03-19 07:58PDT (10:58EDT) (14:58GMT)
_Business Week_
Stress is common among US college students
Seattle Times
PR News Wire/mtvU
"4 in 10 students said they were stressed often, nearly 20% said they felt stress all the time, 1 in 5 said they had felt too stressed to be with friends or do home-work, and about the same number said things had been so bad in the past 3 months that they had given serious consideration to dropping out of school, the survey found.   Women were more likely than men to feel stressed -- 45% vs. 34%.   White students reported more stress than black and Hispanic students.   In the past 3 months, 63% say they've been so stressed they couldn't get school work done and over half (55%) didn't want to hang out with friends or participate socially because of stress.   More than a third felt like a failure, or that they had let people down, and 42% felt lonely during this same time period."
additional findings

2008-03-19 07:58PDT (10:58EDT) (14:58GMT)
Mitch Stacy _AP_/_Santa Cruz Sentinel_
Sturdier cars save lives, but more difficult to pry open
Philadelphia Inquirer
Blomington Pantagraph
"There is no question that today's cars save lives by cocooning motorists in reinforced alloys, impact-absorbing crumple zones and as many as a dozen air bags...   With about 3 people hurt in car crashes every minute in the United States, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration spokesman Rae Tyson said he is comfortable with the trade-off. Rescue workers, he said, will have to work harder to keep up with technology, just like everybody else."

James Maguire _Datamation_/_IT Management_
IT Salaries plummet from 2003-2008
Median Salaries
year Systems Programmers Programmer/Analysts Software Engineers

2008-03-19 (5768 Adar2 12)
John Stossel _Jewish World Review_
Politicians usually protect themselves at our expense

2008-03-19 (5768 Adar2 12)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Peace-loving Muslims

  "Other evidence of [James] Madison's view of these as individual rights is found in his notes for the speech in support of the amendments, 'They relate 1st. to private rights --'   In his consultation with Edmund Pendleton, 'amendments may be employed to quiet the fears of many by supplying those further guards for private rights'.   That Madison's concerns were not limited to a President with monarchial ambitions, the fear most expressed by Patrick Henry, can be found later in his notes for that same speech: 'Object of Bill of Rhts   To limit & qualify powr. by exceptg. from grant cases in wch. it shall not be exercised or exd. in a particular manner.   to guard 1. vs. Executive & in Engd. &c.-- 2. Legislative as in Sts -- 3. the majority of people -- ought to point to greatest danger which in Rep. is Prerogative of majority--'   Madison's Bill of Rights was intended as a protection against abuse of power by not only the executive branch, but against legislative abuse of power, even if it reflected 'the majority of people'." --- Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pp 52-53  



2008-03-20 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 334,972 in the week ending March 15, a decrease of 6,713 from the previous week.   There were 277,187 initial claims in the comparable week in 2007.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5% during the week ending March 8, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,285,678, a decrease of 54,754 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.2% and the volume was 2,869,668.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending March 1."

Jeremy W. Steele _Lansing State Journal_
Central Michigan population fell
"Experts attribute the loss mostly to people leaving Michigan for economic reasons.   The the state's birth rate and immigration rate also generally have slowed over the past few years.   'Employment opportunities are a major driver.', University of Michigan economist Don Grimes said."

E.J. Mundell _HealthDay_
Hominids walked upright 6M years ago
"study co-author Brian Richmond, associate professor of anthropology at George Washington University in Washington, DC... and a colleague, William Jungers, of Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY, published their findings in the March 21 issue of Science."

Leah Rupp _Jackson Mississippi Clarion-Ledger_
Guest-workers protest slave-like treatment
San Leandro California India West
InfoShop News
Composite: "In 2006 November, following extensive damage throughout the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Signal International brought in 500 South Indian welders and pipe-fitters to work in their ship-yards in Pascagoula, Mississippi and Orange, Texas (I-W, Mar. 14).   The workers were brought in on H-2B visas, temporary visas typically used to address seasonal or peak-load, non-agricultural needs, and claimed they had paid a minimum of $15K to 2 recruiting companies in Mumbai, Dewan Consulting and Syed Mansur Razvi Company, believing they would get permanent residency to the U.S.A.   Dozens of workers from India who claim a Pascagoula shipyard [operated by Signal International] reneged on promises that they would be given residency status in exchange for labor held a protest at the Mississippi Capitol this afternoon.   Last week, the group held a protest in New Orleans.   Their final destination is Washington, said Stephen Boykewich of the New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice.   A class-action law-suit was filed March 7 in federal court over the issue, accusing Signal International of exploiting and defrauding more than 500 Indian nationals who worked at its facilities in Pascagoula and Orange, Texas, according to the Associated Press."

Mary Hayes Weier _Information Week_
Wipro, Tata, and Satyam see U.S. talent as key to proving they can innovate, not just serve up low-cost, off-shore talent
"Tata Consultancy Services said this week it plans to open a development center in a former paper plant outside Cincinnati, with initial plans to employ 1K people, which would make it one of the largest U.S. development centers by an India-based IT services company.   The 200K-square-foot facility will include a lab where Tata hopes to show off its experience in such areas as industrial services and engineering.   Tata plans to hire Midwest tech talent for the facility.   It's a similar plan to Wipro Technologies', which in August acquired U.S. infrastructure-management vendor InfoCrossing, along with 900 employees, for $600M.   Wipro is recruiting about 500 people, largely recent college grads [i.e. cheap, young, with flexible ethics], for a new Atlanta development center, and it plans two more centers with staffing of up to 500 people each in to-be-announced U.S. cities.   Wipro's also set up a center outside Detroit.   Indian IT companies also are buying small consulting companies [bodyshops], looking to add regional and industry experience.   Satyam Computer paid $35M in January for Chicago-based Bridge Strategy Group, a firm of 36 management consultants.   Infosys is doing similar hiring in the United States, particularly for consulting.   None of these add up to a big chunk of the work-force for Indian IT vendors.   Tata, for example, has more than 100K employees, about 10% of whom are not Indian."
class action against Tata
Tata median salaries by city
Wipro median salaries by city
Infosys median salaries by city

Mark Kimelheim _Wall Street Journal_
Want More Engineers?   Provide Jobs for Them
"However, the declining number of students enrolled in technical programs has nothing to do with the quality of our schools or the natural talents and interests of our students.   It has everything to do with the massive loss of domestic technology jobs to out-sourcing, off-shoring and the importation of foreign technology workers through the H1-B visa program.   It has everything to do with vanishing opportunities, declining compensation and decreasing job security.   Can bright, motivated students be blamed for shying away from fields with such bleak futures?   Can parents, teachers and counselors be blamed for guiding young Americans into more promising careers?   The bottom line is that when executives like Bill Gates complain that the U.S. isn't producing enough scientists and engineers, what they really mean is that the U.S. isn't producing enough scientists and engineers happy to work for $7 per hour."

2008-03-20 (5768 Adar2 13)
Bob Tyrrell _Jewish World Review_
Why is it that good deeds toward Palestinians always seem to go unrewaded?

S&P 5001,329.51
10-year US T-Bond3.33%
crude oil$101.84/barrel

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


2008-03-21 16:00PDT (19:00EDT) (23:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs _CNN_
Fewer jobs in USA for illegal aliens, untrustworthy e-voting machines, and guest-work visas
Lou Dobbs: Most Americans are confident that our economy will recover next year, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Poll.   60% of Americans surveyed showed that economics, they believe, economic conditions will be good next year.
But Americans also believe they have a lot to worry about right now.   Only 23% of parents say they are very confident they can save enough money to send their kids to college.   That is a lousy, lousy number in the country that is home to the American dream.   Just 29% are very confident in their ability to save enough money for retirement.
Well American workers won't benefit from corporate America's rush to hire high-technology workers.   Companies instead are looking overseas for filling those job openings.   And the deadline for H1B visa applications just a week away.   Companies are competing for some [100K] visas.   The program has been ripe with abuse.   This year, the government says it's doing something about that.
Louise Schiavone has our report.
Louise Schiavone: Bad news for companies trying to beat the government's worker visa lottery system.   The old tricks won't fly.   Duplicate applications from one company for the same person, for the same job, no matter how much money that company has paid in application fees, will be denied.
It's a step in the right direction, says a U.S. technology workers group that charges that many businesses use the H1B visa mostly to import cheaper foreign workers.
Kim Berry, Programmers Guild: The economy is slowing down.   Anything having to do with the mortgage or lending sectors is laying off workers.   Citibank has laid off a lot of workers, including computer programmers.   This is the wrong time to be bringing in more workers.
Louise Schiavone: In 2007, U.S. immigration fielded 120K applications for [some 100K] slots.   The winners determined by a computerized random draw.   Last year alone, 500 duplicate applications were filed to increase the change of winning.   Now duplicates will be rejected and a $320 filing fee won't be returned.   At the same time, reform efforts are underway in Congress.
senator Charles Grassley (R-IA): We ought to make sure that we have reform of H-1B so any company that wants to look at H1Bs first has to show that they made a good faith effort to hire American workers.
Louise Schiavone: In addition to the 65K H1B visas currently offered, 20K additional visas are available for foreign-born students with U.S. graduate degrees.
But a spokesman for M$ tells Lou Dobbs Tonight that's not enough.   "M$ has about 4k core technical positions that it cannot fill, either with American or with foreign talent.   Other high-tech companies like Oracle, Intel, Google for example face the same kinds of talent 'shortages'."
M$ says it does not submit duplicate visa applications.
Louise Schiavone: Lou, the application process for the coming year opens April 1 and lasts five business days.   With all of the fees combined for a company of 26 employees or more, the total cost per candidate application is more than $2K -- Lou?
Lou Dobbs: More than $2K.   How many duplicates did they say there were in the H-1B application process last year?
Louise Schiavone: Five hundred.   So we're talking about companies who have a lot of money to throw at this process, $2,320.   Plus if you want your application expedited, if you do win the lottery, you can pay another $1K.   So these companies have a lot of money to sink into this H-1B visa.   They could sink that into hiring American workers.
Lou Dobbs: They could do that, and also I think we should put into context 2 other factors.   One is that most of the companies amongst the top 20 seeking those H1B visas are what?
They're Indian companies in the United States trying to bring in relatively low skilled, over-seas workers under the H-1B program and pay them low wages for the purpose of out-sourcing work from U.S. domestic corporations.   I mean, that's outrageous.
Louise Schiavone: Right, Lou.   And as we've reported in the past, the Indians call this the outsourcing visa.
Lou Dobbs: The out-sourcing visa, indeed.   And the majority of those H1B visas last year were for not the highly skilled work that one might associate with the words of say someone supposedly as intelligent as Microsoft's Bill Gates, but rather the low-skilled workers that are being brought in under that very program.
Thank you very much, Louise Schiavone.   It's about time this government wakes up to reality and does something about it for a change.

Robert Blumen _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
Should Regulators Design Computer Software?

2008-03-21 08:52PDT (11:52EDT) (15:52GMT)
Isaiah J. Poole & Molly Swartz _Campaign for America's Future_
Merci, John McCain, for Killing American Jobs
"McCain has repeatedly voted against bills that encourage defense contracts to be awarded to American companies.   In 1996, McCain voted to table an amendment that required defense contractors to indicate on contracts what percentage of the contract would be manufactured in the United States.   The amendment would have also required the Department of Defense to treat this as an important factor when awarding contracts.   Moreover, in 2004, McCain proposed and voted for an amendment to allow the Defense Department to waive 'Buy American' requirements, opening defense contracts to firms in seven countries that have a 'declaration of principles' with the United States.   McCain has been wresting with the Air Force over the tanker deal since 2001, when he spotted a $30G [pork] for Boeing in a defense appropriations bill and argued that the contract should have been competitively bid.   In 2004, McCain again helped scuttle a contract deal and exposed improper dealings between a top Air Force official and Boeing.   But the relationships that McCain has developed with lobbyists for Airbus cast a dark shadow over his good government image.   Despite McCain's claim that he never weighed in for or against anybody that competed for the contract, McCain has received over $14K from EADS employees—more than any other member of Congress.   In addition, many of McCain's top advisers lobbied for EADS to win the Air Force contract."

2008-03-21 (5768 Adar2 13)
Rabbi Avi Shafran _Jewish World Review_
Accidents don't happen

Rabbi Doctor Abraham J. Twerski _Jewish World Review_
Sparks of spirituality: The greater shall serve the lesser


Thomas Brewton _View from 1776_
Liberals' Wall Street Pirouette

_Creeping Sharia_
Obummer, the national council of the racists, Hamas -- dangerous liaisons


Anniversary of Virginia governor, Patrick Henry's 1775 "Liberty or Death" speech

_Brownsville Herald_
Visa battle continues
"it faces more vehement opposition from a contingent of anti-immigration politicians and pundits [and the American public].   Guest worker programs, they say, are destructive to the domestic economy and open the door to illegal immigration.   'With a loss of 63k jobs nationwide last year, we need to be very cautious with any work visa program.', said U.S. representative Tom Tancredo, R-CO, the founder of the Immigration Reform Caucus.   'And due to lack of enforcement, workers who come to the U.S. legally remain here illegally.'   According to Tancredo, the circus and carnival industry would survive without an extensive guest worker program.   'They may have to increase wages and prices.', he said.   'But that's what happens in a market-place.'...   'It's not the wages that keep them away.', Margaret Atkins said.   'It's the life-style.   They want full-time jobs, not just employment for 6 to 9 months.   Some don't want to be away from their families for that long.   Others can't stay clean.'   [Of course, if the pay were sufficient, people wouldn't mind being employed for 6 months per year with a 6 month vacation or time to spend on other callings.]...   The Migration Policy Institute estimates that between 2002 and 2006, 45,227 H-2B visa recipients were 'likely to stay in the United States indefinitely'.   The estimate translates to roughly 10% of all H-2B workers who entered the country during that period."

Michael Krigsman _Ziff Davis_
Are internal IT departments becoming extinct?
"Ed Yourdon, told me: 'It's amazing today how many senior executives don't even read their own e-mail.   It's mind boggling, but these people are going to die off sooner or later.   As the older generation of marketing- and finance-oriented, computer-illiterate senior managers die off and retire, you'll gradually see a new generation coming in that is fully comfortable with the day-to-day activity and the strategic possibilities of IT, and who will be able to work more closely with CIOs.'...   Centralized purchasing policies support volume license deals, but inhibit individual users from adopting innovative new products."

Michael Bradley _Clermont county OH Sun_
governor Ted Strickland attends Tata grand opening in Milford
"The company, which is the sixth largest conglomeration in the world and will bring in an estimated local 1K jobs by the end of 2010, serves seven of the top 10 Fortune 500 corporations listed as the largest corporations in America."


Hiawatha Bray _Boston Globe_
Executives whine that getting H-1B visas is too difficult
"Progress Software Corp. in Bedford won't be applying for any of these coveted H-1b visas.   Instead, Progress is embracing a different visa program, called L-1, that lets businesses import workers who've already been hired at their over-seas offices...   But critics of US immigration policy say some companies are misusing the L-1 program.   Bob Meltzer, chief executive of Visanow.com, a Chicago company that processes US visa applications online, did not accuse Progress Software, but said, 'We have found and heard lots of stories recently of companies that are really kind of abusing it.'...   Some US companies also abuse the L-1 system, according to Kim Berry, president of the Programmers Guild, a group that seeks to protect the jobs of US high-tech workers.   While the H-1b program requires employers to pay foreign workers the prevailing US wage for a particular job, the L-1 has no such requirement.   Thus an engineer brought in from, say, India, could be paid the same as in their home country, rather than the much higher pay demanded by US engineers.   'There's tens of thousands of foreign workers working in the USA, and they continue to be paid in their foreign wages [at foreign rates].', said Berry.   Republican US senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Democratic US Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois have filed legislation to reform the L-1 and H-1b programs.   Their bill would require companies to pay a prevailing wage to L-1 visa employees and would forbid the use of L-1 visas by out-sourcing companies [bodyshops]...   [When Bray asked Kim Berry, 'How would you fix the L-1?', Berry responded that he would require an LCA and that any workers in the U.S.A. -- H-1b or L-1 -- be paid a U.S. wage while in the U.S.A.; timit the duration from 1 year to perhaps 3 months; tighten the statute that is currently allowing multi-national corporations to hire at foreign locations rather than U.S. graduates, then rotate these foreign workers in by the hundreds, allegedly bringing specialized skills and knowledge.   Kim Berry says he sometimes feels that executives are keeping H-1b in the media as a smoke-screen for their unlimited and unmonitored use of L-1.]   Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc... [is] also counting on an H-1b alternative -- the O visa, a special program to help companies hire foreign workers with exceptional skills."

Patrick J. Buchanan _V Dare_
Bush Attacked Non-Interventionism, Protectionism, Nativism, and Conservatism
"From 1924 to 1965, there was indeed little immigration.   Does that make Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, FDR, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy knuckle-dragging nativists?"

Linda Thom _V Dare_
Tibet's Turmoil -- The Immigration Dimension

2008-03-24 (5768 Adar2 17)
Jonathan Tobin _Jewish World Review_
Your Tax Dollars at Work in Gaza

2008-03-24 (5768 Adar2 17)
Rabbi Doctor Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
Manipulating emotions as an intense sales tactic
"Negotiation is also a process in which a successful outcome depends on convincing the other side of our tenacity..."

2008-03-25: 32 weeks to federal elections of president and congress-critters

2008-03-25 (5768 Adar2 18)
Monisha Bansal _CrossWalk_/_Cybercast News Service_
Increasing or removing caps on guest-work visas is a bad idea
Cybercast News Service
"But Rosemary Jenks, director of government relations for the grass-roots immigration reduction group NumbersUSA, said, 'Our biggest problem is that there are not sufficient protections for American workers.   Until we fix those problems, it is irresponsible to raise the caps.'   We know that a large number of H-1B visas are in fact being used by bodyshops.', she said.   'Essentially, Indian companies are then shopping out these workers as cheap labor.   That should not be allowed to happen.'   Jenks told Cybercast News Service that H-1B visas should be very specific about occupations and 'very narrowly tailored to high-tech fields'.   'If we did that, I think we'd find that the cap is absolutely adequate," she said, adding, "especially at this particular time in our country where we're headed into a recession, it's a little hard to believe when Bill Gates comes to the Hill and talks about how he is facing a desperate shortage of workers.'   'We have to make sure that Americans are not being displaced.', she said and noted Americans' wages should not be suppressed because of the program.   'That means that employers have to try to recruit American workers.', Jenks said.   'They have to pay foreign workers... the same amount, including benefits and the total package that they would pay American workers, or that they have offered American workers.'"

2008-03-25 (5768 Adar2 18)
Dan Stein _USA Today_/_FAIR_
Push for more guest-work visas is about helping executives

2008-03-25 (5768 Adar2 18)
Paul Colman & Michelle Meek _Trading Markets_
VISANOW: Why executives are using/abusing L visas in lieu of H-1B visas
Deb Perelman: eWeek
Composite: "there is no cap on the number of L-1 visas issued per year.   The L-1 visa, which was designed as a temporary visa option for specialized workers employed by multi-national companies, has expanded in popularity with an average of 315K being issued over the past 3 years.   However, the government has started scrutinizing L-1 visa applications more closely in recent years due to suspected abuse of this employment visa option.   'The L-1 visa was originally designed to allow multi-nationals or foreign companies that are affiliated with U.S. organizations to hire managers, executives or employees with specialized knowledge.', said Robert Meltzer, CEO of VISANOW.   'When considering new foreign employees at the managerial level or with a highly specialized knowledge, the L-1 can be an attractive alternative to the H-1B visa.   Without a cap on the program, this option can work for employers throughout the year versus the limited filing window currently surrounding the H-1B.'   According to the U.S. Senate, IBM was the third biggest user of L-1 visas in the 2006 fiscal year, receiving 1,237.   Intel received 394 L-1 visas; HP received 316; Oracle received 176 and M$ received 169.   7 of the top 10 largest users of the L-1 were IT [cross-border bodyshopping and off-shoring] firms.   Tata Consultancy was first with 4,887; Cognizant Technologies came in second with 3,520 and Satyam, Wipro Technologies, Hindustan Computers, Patni Computer Systems and Kanbay filling out the top 10 spots.   6 of the 7 also appeared among the top 10 biggest users of H-1B visas the same year."
class action against Tata

2008-03-25 (5768 Adar2 18)
_Clermont county OH Business Journal_
Clermont county welcomes Tata Consultancy Services bodyshop
"On March 17, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) inaugurated its North American Delivery Center called TCS Seven Hills Park.   Governor Ted Strickland joined TCS management including S. Ramadorai, CEO and Managing Director, in opening the facility with a ribbon cutting and traditional Indian lamp lighting ceremony.   TCS is a leading provider of IT services and business solutions and Seven Hills Park will be the company's largest location in the U.S.A.   The building's 200K square feet of office space will accommodate 1K TCS associates.   The facility will serve as the primary software development and delivery center for North American customers.   The campus will also show-case a TCS innovation lab, customer network operations center, and briefing centers...   Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director N. Chandrasekaran... governor Strickland... Clermont Commission President Bob Proud..."

2008-03-25 (5768 Adar2 18)
John M. Chavez _US Department of Labor_/_Biloxi Sun Herald_
NY Body Shop, Advanced Professional Marketing Inc, charged with under-paying H-1B visa grantees by almost $3M
Raw Story
DoL press release
"...and the company's president, Marissa Beck... An investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division found that 156 H-1B guest workers from the Philippines, brought into the U.S.A. by APMI to be employed primarily as physical therapists in hospitals and other medical facilities in the New York metropolitan area, are owed almost $3M in back wages. The investigation revealed that APMI willfully failed to pay required wages, filed law-suits seeking penalties against some H-1B employees for early cessation of employment, failed to make required documents available for examination, failed to maintain required documentation and used incorrect prevailing wage rates on labor condition applications... The letter outlines the alleged violations and assesses civil money penalties totaling $512K for the violations. It also directs the respondents to pay back wages in the amount of $2,920,270 to the 156 H-1B workers. Finally, the letter informs the company and Beck of their right to request a hearing on this determination before a Labor Department administrative law judge within 15 days."

2008-03-25 (5768 Adar2 18)
_Red Stick Louisiana Advocate_
Non-immigrants displacing US workers in tech jobs

Zach Church _Search CIO_
H-1B visa debate continues
"The thing is, opponents of H-1B visas say, MSFT and other companies aren't paying 'high-skilled' worker wages.   H-1B rules do require that workers are paid the prevailing wage for their job.   Matloff said H-1B workers in the IT industry are 'almost always programming of some sorts'.   'It could be a programmer, it could be a software engineer, it could be a system analyst.', Matloff said.   But Matloff and other H-1B critics contend there is no shortage of American workers for those jobs.   H-1B workers, they say, just come cheaper and younger.   A 2003 U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO] report found that H-1B workers were generally younger than their counterparts in the U.S. work-force.   But the report's wage analysis was inconclusive, showing younger H-1B programmers generally made more than U.S. programmers of the same age, but older U.S. programmers generally made more than H-1B workers of the same age.   It is the age bit that Matloff said puts CIOs in a philosophical argument with themselves: By the numbers, they appreciate paying less for labor, Matloff said.   But in shared experience, the CIO is sensitive to issues of age discrimination."

2008-03-25 (5768 Adar2 18)
John M. Chavez _DoL ESA_
NY body shop Advanced Professional Marketing fined & required to pay restitution totaling over $3M for violating H-1B rules
Manila Times
"The letter outlines the alleged violations and assesses civil money penalties totaling $512K for the violations.   It also directs the respondents to pay back wages in the amount of $2,920,270 to the 156 H-1B workers."

2008-03-25 (5768 Adar2 18)
John McCain & Meg Whitman wanting to expand the already excessive H-1B visa program

2008-03-25 (5768 Adar2 18)
Chuck Baldwin _V Dare_
Big, Intrusive Government Preserved
"After all, just think what would have taken place if this kook Ron Paul had won the Republican nomination for President.   This nut case actually believes that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land.   Imagine that.   That means he would never take America to war except with a Declaration of War by Congress.   Think how such a thing would prevent America's meddling and interventionism worldwide.   Think of the billions and even trillions of tax dollars that would not need to be spent overseas.   Think of how much money Halliburton would lose.   Think of how much money the Federal Reserve bankers would lose by not being able to loan money to the U.S. government.   It is too ghastly to think about."

2008-03-25 (5768 Adar2 18)
Paul Johnson _Jewish World Review_
In search of an American president with brains and guts

2008-03-25 (5768 Adar2 18)
Dennis Prager _Jewish World Review_
Why do "Palestinians" get much more attention than Tibetans?
"Consider the facts: Tibet, at least 1,400 years old, is one of the world's oldest nations, has its own language, its own religion and even its own ethnicity.   Over 1M of its people have been killed by the [Red Chinese], its culture has been systematically obliterated, 6K of its 6,200 monasteries have been looted and destroyed, and most of its monks have been tortured, murdered or exiled."

2008-03-25 (5768 Adar2 18)
P.A. Madison _Federalist_
supreme fraud: Plyler v. Doe


Bill Gertz _Washington Times_
Off-Shore Out-sourcing of PassPorts Has Increased Net Revenues at the Cost of National Security
"The United States has out-sourced the manufacturing of its electronic pass-ports to over-seas companies -- including one in Thailand that was victimized by [Red Chinese] espionage -- raising concerns that cost savings are being put ahead of national security...   The Government Printing Office's decision to export the work has proved lucrative, allowing the agency to book more than $100M in recent [net revenues] by charging the State Department more money for blank passports than it actually costs to make them, according to interviews with federal officials and documents...   Officials at GPO, the Homeland Security Department and the State Department played down such concerns, saying they are confident that regular audits and other protections already in place will keep terrorists and foreign spies from stealing or copying the sensitive components to make fake pass-ports...   But GPO Inspector General J. Anthony Ogden, the agency's internal watch-dog, doesn't share that confidence."

David Morgenstern _Ziff Davis_
Human Interface Guide-Lines at Base of Windoze Kludginess & Macintosh Elegance
"This exploration was sparked by a blog post on O'Reilly's Digital Media by FJ de Kermadec, a Paris-based designer and author. He wrote about several differences between Windoze Vista and Mac OS X and the user expectations for each platform... Users aren’t dumb. The dominant position of Windows in the market is more a function of history and the power of the installed base, rather than users making a choice. And even the most technophobic user can value an interface... the depth of the Mac interface and the shallowness of Windoze is evident in these documents, and that includes Windoze's Vista incarnation... The Apple set [of guide-lines] sounds like actual principles for user interaction. The Windoze version looks the team's check-list for a presentation at WinHEC... Another point: Does the M$ version appear to be the result of millions of dollars of research and testing? &bsp; Nope, but it is!   M$ has been in the user interface business only a few years shy of Apple. The first version of Windoze was released in 1985, less than a year after the 128K Mac shipped and 2 years or so following the release of Apple's Lisa work-station... The guidelines for developers are a reflection of the values each company places on the experience users will find with its platform."

Stephen D. Price _Tallahassee Demagogue_
State considers raising college & university tuition, again
"The tuition raise would mean $3.5M for Florida State University, for example.   For students, and their families, the hike would increase the cost per credit hour from $77.39 to $82.03, FSU officials said.   If approved, the increase would mean the average in-state full-time University of Florida student who pays $3,300 a year in tuition, would see a hike of $198 a year...   The State University System has already cut 4% from its current year budget, because of lagging state revenue and by most accounts a tuition increase was needed...   If the 6% increase is approved, Florida will still rank among the cheapest in-state tuition rates in the nation."

John Wallace _News Blaze_
H-1B visa program must be abolished or reformed
"Even though approximately 80K [net] Americans lost their jobs in the first two months of 2008, incredibly some members in the House of Representatives have introduced legislation to help these big foreign-owned international corporations bring in an increasing number of foreign workers that will put even more Americans out of work.   Since its inception, the H-1B Visa program has been rampant with fraud.   In the first half of 2006, the Programmer's Guild, a group representing U.S. worker interests, filed over 300 discrimination complaints against companies who posted 'H-1B visa holders only' ads on internet job boards.   It's obvious that these foreign-owned companies are only targeting foreign workers and undermining the system by bypassing the American worker...
Here's how much the high-tech industries have contributed to federal campaigns:
The current H-1B Program, as designed, is detrimental and harmful to the welfare of American workers and American high-tech businesses.   It should be abolished..."
John Wallace for Congress, 20-NY

2008-03-26 03:38PDT (06:38EDT) (10:38GMT)
Henry Gee _Nature_
Excuse Me, But Are We By Any Chance Related?

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1843
The blizzard of bad articles about guest-work visas
A plethora of articles is being published that support an H-1B increase -- and they don't even pretend to be objective.   There is such an avalanche of articles and op-eds that I simply don't have time to debunk them.   One common theme you will see in all of them: Bill Gates.   If you only have time to read one article go for #4 in the NY Times.   Despite its obvious bias, it dispels lots of myths, such as the widespread belief that the only ones who hire H-1Bs are big corporations, and that H-1Bs are almost all computer programmers.   Some surprising statistics are revealed about the huge number of H-1Bs that are employed in the State of New York..."

Bill Gate's Crocodile Tears
To: Ms. Jane Norman - Des Moines Register, Ms. Bonnie Harris - Des Moines Register, Ms. Jennifer Miller - Des Moines Register, Mr. Michael Swanger - Cityview -- I have talked to all of you before. Today I turned 64 -- I guess I will keep fighting this issue until I am dead.
I am totally appalled and disgusted with the House of Representatives for taking to heart Bill Gate's whining about the "need" for more foreign workers.   Bill Gates is the third richest man in world with $60G.   What a pity; he really needs more money so he can get back to number one.
At what cost will Bill Gates inflict on American citizen/workers to get back to number one.   Well, don't worry because here comes the House of Representatives that represent "We The People" to help poor old Bill gates with his money problems.   Our elected are falling over each other introducing legislation to increase the number of H-1B Temporary foreign worker visas issued to help Poor old Bill get additional cheaper foreign labor.   What wonderful representatives of "We The People".
Bill Gates is a man I think is an American citizen, who makes more money in a day that a lot of Americans make in a year, makes most of his money selling his products to American business and American citizens, and just can't stand American citizen/workers because they won't work for widgets.   Never mind there are thousands of high tech American workers unemployed and suffering all of the life problems that go with being unemployed.   No, let's make sure that foreign workers that did not put a dime or any time into building this great country come in and make a living instead of us.
It is really too bad that our elected "representatives" are so sensitive to the plight of the aristocracy, but cannot hear our plight over the noise of their money counting machines.   We really have to make sure these great representatives stay in office to work their magic.   Why should we have any elections, let's just forget voting and keep the status quo.   Hell, let's let George stay in the White House to top off the cake.   We really all have to band together to make sure poor old Bill gets back to number one so he can buy a few extra homes and cars he so desperately needs to write off travel expenses.
Once he gets that increase of H-1B visas, I think Bill Gates needs to hire a foreign "Designated Onion Carrier" to pull out the onion and put it under his nose so he can have some tears to go along with explaining his plight.   I am sure there aren't any qualified unemployed Americans looking for a job.
Des Moines, Iowa

2008-03-26 (5768 Adar2 19)
Michael Feldberg _Jewish World Review_
I am a Jew.   I am a Republican.   I am poor.

  "But whatever may be [the] form which the several states have adopted in making declarations in favor of particular rights, the great object in view is to limit & qualify the powers of gov't, by excepting out of the grant of power those cases in which the gov't ought not to act, or to act only in a particular mode.   They point these exceptions sometimes against the abuse of the executive power, sometimes against the legislative, &, in some cases, against the community itself; or, IOW, against the majority in favor of the minority." --- James Madison 1789-06-08 (compiled in Charles F. Hobson & Robert A. Rutland 1977 _The Papers of James Madison_ vol 12 pg 194; quoted in Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pg 53)  



James Carlini _Midwest Business Technology News_
The FrameWork of Consumer Spending: Alpha, Beta, and Gamma
"In a 2008 March 23 article by Michael S. Rosenwald in the Washington Post, a chart shows that consumer debt (excluding loans backed by real estate) has nearly doubled in 10 years ($1.32G in 1998 versus $2.52T in 2008), according to the Federal Reserve...   the more you bring in cheap labor, the more you put an irreparable crack in the well-established economy that everyone is tied into and the economy that everyone has bought into over the years...   With companies bringing in cheaper labor, they are upsetting the complex churning of the economy from several perspectives.   They are getting cheaper labor.   While this is perceived as good for them, many of those cost savings haven't been passed onto the consumers.   Instead, they have been used to create mega bonuses for executives, fund failing initiatives and in some cases more value for the share-holders."

2008-03-27 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 312,867 in the week ending March 22, a decrease of 22,827 from the previous week.   There were 273,432 initial claims in the comparable week in 2007.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4% during the week ending March 15, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,246,517, a decrease of 34,209 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.2% and the volume was 2,826,536.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending March 8."

_Information Week_/_Reuters_
Waste Management suing SAP for ERP that does not work
Chris Kanaracus: ComputerWorld/IDG
Linda Loyd: Philadelphia Inquirer
"Waste Management said it spent more than $100M on a computer system that was supposed to help it save money, but instead turned out to be a 'complete failure'.   [They are] seeking all its expenses plus punitive damages...   Those programs handle tasks including billing, waste logistics, container management and on-board computing, according to a 2005 December press release from SAP America."

Catherine Murphy _Washington Post_
Design flaws in visa programs
"The March 25 editorial "Visas Needed" ignored several problems in the H-1B visa program.   (1) There is no requirement that the recipients of the 85,000 visas be the A students described by Bill Gates.   If there were, the existing visa cap would be more than adequate.   (2) The recipients of these visas may have chosen technology because it offers easier entry to the United States.   (3) Foreign competition for admission to graduate programs in technology blocks talented U.S. students.   Government research grants often support foreign nationals, rather than U.S. citizens.   Consequently, U.S. under-graduates in technology often have professors and teaching assistants with poor English."

"Tiberge" _Brussels Journal_
The Cost of Immigration
"The French organization Contribuables Associés (Associated Taxpayers) has published a study on the real cost of immigration (pdf)...   The study shows that for a 30-year period after the Second World War immigration was a benefit to the State.   But when the immigration laws changed to allow family reunification, and political or economic asylum, employment as the primary motive was replaced by the notion of population substitution, i.e. the bringing in of massive numbers of immigrants to change the ethnic make-up of a country...   France has 6,868,000 immigrants, or 11% of the population.   Immigration reduces by two thirds the growth of the GNP.   The cost of immigration in France is 71.76G euros.   The revenue from immigration in France is 45.57G euros.   The deficit from immigration shouldered by the [tax-victims] is 26.19G euros.   When an immigrant does not return home at the expiration of his work contract, it is the State (the [tax-victim]) who bears the cost of welfare and social benefits.   Non-European immigrants and their descendants receive 22% of all social benefits.   The unit-price of requests for asylum is 15K euros.   The majority of immigration expenses do not depend on the Ministry of Immigration headed by Brice Hortefeux.   Expenses for security linked to immigration amount to 5.2G euros.   The black market involves at least 500k immigrants and represents a loss to the State of 3.810G euros.   65% to 90% of prostitutes are foreign.   The unemployment rate of immigrants is twice that of non-immigrants.   Social benefits constitute 14% of the average revenue of immigrant households versus 5% for non-immigrant households."

2008-03-27 10:36PDt (13:36EDT) (17:36GMT)
Crusaders left genetic legacy in Middle East
"The finding comes from the Genographic Project, a major effort to track human migrations through DNA.   Details of the research have been published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.   The researchers found that some Christian men in Lebanon carry a DNA signature...on the male chromosome called WES1, which is usually only found in European populations, was found among the Lebanese men included in the study...   Lebanese Muslim men were found to have high frequencies of a Y chromosome grouping known as J1.   This is typical of populations originating from the Arabian Peninsula, who were involved in the Muslim expansion...   The Genographic Project was launched by National Geographic in 2005 to help piece together a picture of how the Earth was colonised.   The consortium has sold 250K DNA test kits and regional centres have taken samples of genetic material from 31K indigeous people."

_Tallahassee Demagogue_
State senate passes bill for election of education commissioner, reduce power of Board of Governors, and confirm legislature's power to control tuition
"Earlier this year the BOG voted to increase tuition 8%. The Legislature, in its current budget process, seeks to raise tuition 6%."

Ephraim Schwartz _InfoWorld_
Eye-witness to H-1B scamming
Tom Sullivan's daily round-up
"If you recall I noted some statistics that said, 8 out of the top 10 companies that win the H-1B visa lottery are not U.S. firms that say they need to bring in foreign nationals on an H-1B to complete a project.   Rather most of the H-1B visas are awarded to Indian out-sourcing companies [cross-border bodyshopping and off-shoring].   A couple of weeks later I wrote about how these companies don't even keep their employees who have the H-1B visa in the States.   Rather, after being trained here they are sent back home to complete the task [at off-shore compensation rates]...   'Yes, Having worked with an Indian software company, I've seen first hand how this system works.   As soon as an employee completes one year with the organization, s/he gets their visa processed.   The documents are filled out as early as [December] of the previous year.   Imagine a company with 70K employees which files for 10K applications.   It merely gets a foot-hold with the volume principle.   Their mantra is flood the USCIS [US Citizenship and Immigration Services] with applications, the more that gets in, the better for the company.   This is the basis for the company to bargain with clients and get them to shell more on projects.   Once 6K candidates get their visas in October, hardly 2K use it and come on site.   The rest fall in the bargaining chip category for future projects!   Appalling but true.   This is just one company that I worked in..   Imagine 5-6 companies doing the same thing..   [85K] just gets washed away by these mammoths...'"

2008-03-28 09:55PDT (12:55EDT) (16:55GMT)
Jennifer Saba _Editor & Publisher_
NAA Revealed Biggest Ad Revenue Plunge in More Than 50 Years
"total print advertising revenue in 2007 plunged 9.4% to $42G compared to 2006 -- the most severe percent decline since the association started measuring advertising expenditures in 1950... The second worst decline in advertising revenue occurred in 2001 when it fell 9.0%. Total advertising revenue in 2007 -- including on-line revenue -- decreased 7.9% to $45.3G compared to the prior year. There are signs that on-line revenue is beginning to slow as well. Internet ad revenue in 2007 grew 18.8% to $3.2G compared to 2006. In 2006, on-line ad revenue had soared 31.4% to $2.6G. In 2005, it jumped 31.4% to $2G... on-line revenue now represents 7.5% of total newspaper ad revenue in 2007 compared to 5.7% in 2006... National print advertising revenue dropped 6.7% to $7G last year. Retail slipped 5% to $21G. Classified plunged 16.5% to $14.1G."

2008-03-27 11:53PDT (14:53EDT) (18:53GMT)
Thelma Gutierrez & Wayne Drash _CNN_
From $70K/year to the food bank: One family's struggle
"When she was laid off in February, PG was making $70K a year...   She's already burned through her savings to help make ends meet, and is drawing unemployment checks.   She has had to take extreme measures to pay for her interest-only mortgage of $2,500 a month.   In fact, her mother moved in with her to help pay the bills.   PG even applied for food stamps, but was denied.   'I never used the system.   I've been working since I was 15-and-a-half.   I needed it now and it turned me down.', she said.   Stories like PG's are becoming more common as middle-class Americans feel the pinch of an economic down-turn, rising gas prices and a housing crunch, especially in a state like California that has been rocked by foreclosures.   Daryl Brock, the executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank in California's San Bernardino and Riverside counties, said his organization supplies food to more than 400 charities in metro Los Angeles, from homeless shelters to soup kitchens to an array of food banks.   While the majority of people they help are working poor families, he said they have seen some major changes.   In the last 12 to 18 months, Brock said, the agencies he supplies have begun seeing more middle-class families coming to their doors...   She used her tax refund to help pay many of her bills for the first 2 months, but now that money's gone...   She's eager to get back to work and to hold onto her home until the market turns.   But for this single mom, every day it becomes harder to hang on."

2008-03-27 14:27:15PDT (17:27:15EDT) (21:27:15GMT)
Frank Davies _San Jose Mercury News_
Executives make another push to expand H-1B visa program
"While an increase in visas has support in Congress, some members, such as senators Charles Grassley, R-IA, and Dick Durbin, D-IL, have focused on past abuses by job brokers who have misused the H-1B visa system to bypass U.S. workers and bring in foreign workers for lower wages.   The Programmers Guild, an advocacy group for U.S. computer programmers, has argued that the skilled-worker visa system has not protected the rights of U.S. workers.   The group did agree with Hoffman and Gates that the lottery system should reward U.S. firms that create jobs in the United States...   California ranks first among H-1B visas, with 18.2% of the total in 2006, and the New York tri-state area accounted for 21% of the visas..."

Frosty Wooldridge _Op Ed News_
Democrats & Republicans both fail Americans
Border Fire Report
American Chronicle
"Why would this Congress uphold and increase H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and many other visas that undermine and steal jobs away from millions of Americans?   Why would those we elect to serve us enslave us?   Why would they out-source, in-source and off-shore our jobs to third world countries in order to give our own corporations greater profits at the expense of our citizens?"

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Executives, immigration lawyers & their lobbyists ask White House for 29 months after graduation to displace US citizens with foreign students
Industry Standard
"Stymied so far in their efforts to get Congress to allow more skilled foreign workers into the U.S.A., H-1B visa supporters are asking the Bush administration to extend the time that foreign graduates of U.S. universities can work on student visas from one year to 29 months...   Proponents of changing those rules say that increasing the amount of time a foreign graduate could work in the U.S., under a program referred to as Optional Practical Training [OPT], would give [them] a better chance of [displacing more US citizens].   In addition, the proposed change could be made administratively, without any legislative action.   Supporters of the idea have been urging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the USCIS, to approve the extension...   [They are also trying] to convince Congress to release for use H-1B visas that were authorized by law-makers in previous years but not used.   That could free up about 300K visas, according to H-1B advocates.   They also would like to see similar [abuse] offered under the government's green card, or permanent residency, program."


"netmenders2000" _Techs Unite_
Statistics from the government's LCA data-base
Electronic filings 2006-10-01 through 2007-10-03
LCAs certified426,595
Immigrants certified768,691
LCAs denied1,101
Immigrants denied3,682
LCAs on hold7,251
Immigrants on hold16,489
Total Salaries$26,802,314,601.03
Average Wage$71,281.05
Highest Wage$250M
IT LCAs certified200,703
IT guest-workers422,820
Average IT Wage$63,430.95


2008-03-28 07:31PDT (10:31EDT) (14:31GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 70.8 February to 69.5 in March
"More households reported that their financial situation had worsened than anytime since 1991, according to the survey.   Also, more consumers said high prices for fuel and food were the top cause for financial distress than anytime since 1982."

Mark Gibbs _Computer World_/_Network World_
Politics and technology

_TeleComm Tiger_
Qualcomm spent $6.8M on lobbying in 2007
"to lobby Congress, the US Patent and Trademark office and the Commerce, Transportation, State and Agriculture departments... immigration [perversion] legislation... tax credits for research and development; free trade agreements; health information technology; and homeland security matters."

Melanie Wooten _View from 1776_
Do States Still Have Constitutional Powers?   Do Citizens of States Still Have Constitutionally Recognized Rights?

Richard W. Johnson, Gordon Mermin, Matthew Resseger _Urban Institute_
Employment at Older Ages and the Changing Nature of Work
alternative link
less graphic page
"About 7% of American workers held highly physically demanding jobs in 2006, and 35% held highly cognitively demanding jobs.   The share of the work-force in physically demanding jobs fell by about one-sixth between 1971 and 2006, while the share in cognitively demanding jobs increased by more than one-third.   Stressful occupations also grew rapidly over the past 35 years.   The decline in physically demanding occupations will likely improve employment prospects for older adults, but the growth in cognitive demands may limit options for some older people, especially those with limited education."

2008-03-28 (5768 Adar2 21)
Mort Zuckerman _Jewish World Review_
The world will not answer these questions
"The world applauded when Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, forcibly removing Jewish settlers.   At last, the Palestinians were free to show how they could build their own society.   But what did they do with their freedom? They elected the terrorist organization Hamas in 2006.   First Fatah and now Hamas have rained 4K rockets on Israel, killed 24, and wounded 620 -- the equivalent of killing 1,200 Americans and wounding 31K.   The citizens of Sderot and Ashkelon have suffered a collective trauma; children fear that when parents leave for work, they will never see them again."

S&P 5001,315.22
10-year US T-Bond3.47%
crude oil$105.62/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_
Can/Should Government Fix the Over-Built Housing Market?

2008-03-29 13:00PDT (16:00EDT) (20:00GMT)
Greg Mitchell _Editor & Publisher_
5 Years Ago Media Was Aware War in Iraq Would Be Long, Especially Since Bush Had Told Us All that It Would Be



Moira Herbst _Business Week_
Another Wave of H-1Bs on the Way
"With visas set to max out quickly again, tech companies want more.   Amid rising joblessness, does America need more foreign workers?"

Phyllis Schlafly _Town Hall_
Pentagon Creating Jobs in Europe, Not the USA
"All during the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, U.S. negotiators signed trade agreements that allow foreign competitors to create and maintain unfair border-tax schemes that discriminate against U.S. manufacturers and service providers, and give foreign competitors a dramatic advantage in the U.S. market.   The principal border-tax scheme used against the United States is the value-added tax.   When foreign manufacturers export their products to the United States, the value-added taxs they paid are generously rebated by their governments...   When U.S. manufacturers try to sell products in foreign countries, they are required to pay border taxes not only on the value of the product itself, but also on the value of all transportation, insurance and other costs.   The bottom line is that these border-tax schemes heavily subsidize the products other countries sell to the United States, while erecting a high tax barrier against U.S. goods sold overseas.   The combination of foreign government export subsidies and import taxes amounted to a $428G disadvantage to U.S. manufacturers and service providers in 2006...   The border-tax problem does, indeed, involve real money.   In 2006, it was four times as costly as the Iraq war (Value Added Tax: $428G; Iraq war: $101G, according to Congressional Research Service figures), and 2 times greater than the [U.S.A.-Red China] trade deficit ($232G)...   In addition, the foreign border-tax rates have grown and grown.   France's border tax rate of 2% in the late 1940s has risen to 19.6% today, and the average for all 149 countries is 15.5%."

Jim Puzzanghera & Michelle Quinn _Los Angeles Times_
Excessive H-1B visas still not enough to please corrupt executives' desire for cheap, pliant labor
"'This is an [off-shore] out-sourcing visa.', said Kim Berry, president of the Programmers Guild, a Summit, NJ-based advocacy group that opposes more H-1B visas.   Berry said it's cheaper for companies to hire new foreign college graduates than older U.S. workers."

Victor Rozek _IT Jungle_
As I See It Misera Plebs Contribuens

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1847
Will federal government ever crack down on H-1B abuses?
Lately I have received lots of [e-mail messages] from people who say that the USCIS is going to finally crack down on bodyshops.   As the theory goes, Indian owned bodyshops routinely file multiple H-1B applications for the same worker in order to game the H-1B lottery at the end of the fiscal year.   I'm not sure why Indian bodyshops get most of the blame for this type of behavior -- perhaps it's just another one of those urban legends.   The truth is that there are thousands of U.S.-owned companies that hire H-1Bs and they are just as unscrupulous, and another misunderstood fact is that many Indian owned bodyshops are opposed to allowing mulitiple filings because they feel they lose out to the big ones like Tata or Infosys:
[India lobby] NASSCOM welcomed the move to stream-line the H1B visa process, saying it would eliminate unnecessary malpractices by fly by-night operators that deny opportunity to genuine applicants.
Well, folks, the theory that bodyshops routinely game the system may be true, and it may be true that lots of other shady operators are doing the same, but this rule isn't going to stop the practice and here are 3 reasons why:
1) The number of multiple filings that are detected by the USCIS are very low -- which implies that it either almost never happens or that it's rarely detected.   Several news articles about this rule reported that last year there were about 500 multiple filings.   I didn't believe the number was that low, so I called the USCIS and verified it for myself.   The representative I talked to said that this regulation was not put into place because of scientific evidence that multiple filings were a major problem -- it was done just as an administrative gesture to make sure the playing field was evened out.   All of this means that despite the media buzz you see about this, the new regulation from the USCIS accomplishes nothing.
2) Bodyshops won't get caught, even if they do file multiple applications.   That's because the automated scanners that are used to enter H-1B petitions can easily be spoofed by merely specifying trivial differences in the job title; like for instance they could say they need a "Java Programmer" and a "Java Web Programmer", and to make it even more difficult to detect they could list starting salaries that are a dollar or two different.   Those may seem like 2 different positions to the USCIS computer but they are one and the same to the employer.   Another obvious way to spoof the scanners would be to specify the same job title in 2 different cities where the company is located because nobody tracks where H-1Bs go after they enter the U.S.A.
3) Last year the USCIS cut-off for filings was for about 150K petitions.   If this rule had been in affect last year, only 0.3% of the filings would have been rejected.   Such a miniscule number of rejections won't even be noticed since employers are standing in line to scarf up any visas that become available.   More specifics on the number of petitions in 2007 (pdf)
So, what is the worst thing that could happen to a company that is caught violating the regulation?   They will lose the filing fee of $1,300, which is a mere slap on the wrist.   A penalty that light is unlikely to deter those that wish to game the system, especially considering they would be very unlucky to get caught.

  "The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full & equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext infringed.   The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments...   The right of the people to keep & bear arms shall not be infringed;..." --- James Madison (quoted in Charles F. Hobson & Robert A. Rutland 1977 _The Papers of James Madison_ vol 12 pg 201; quoted in Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pg 55)  


2008 March
Sarah Banick _Georgia Institute of Technology SciTech_

Innovation through the eyes of Bob Price

"The company's former chairman and CEO, Robert M. Price, MS Math 1958, once described CDC as 'the Apple Computer of its time'.   The Minneapolis-based Corporation launched more than 100 spin-offs before restructuring and merging itself into a new direction [exploding out of existence] in the early 1990s.   Price joined CDC in 1961 as a mathematician staff specialist and followed a steady path up the corporate ladder.   He became President and Chief Operating Officer in 1980 and Chairman and CEO in 1986...   He was and remains an active volunteer at Duke, his under-graduate alma mater, holding academic appointments in the Fuqua School of Business and the Pratt School of Engineering...   'The first computer Control Data made, delivered in 1960, was 7 times faster and cost half as much' as the competition..."
Eye 4 Innovation
Control Data Australia time-line
Ed Thelen photos
Control Data Corporation records and executive papers 1956-1991, 38.5 cubic feet
Control Data time-line
Control Data Corp. photos
more photos
"Bayview Club"

2008 March
_Tech Toil_
Studies Indicate IT Labor Shortage is a Myth

Specialty Job Markets

  "A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep & bear arms shall not be infringed, but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms." --- John Vining, James Madison & Roger Sherman 1789-07-21 committee revision (quoted in Charlene Bangs Bickford & Helen E. Veit 1986 _Documentary History of the 1st Federal Congress 1789-1791_ vol 4 pg 28; quoted in Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pg 55)  


Proposed Bills 2008

Presidential candidate fund-raising, expenditures, and debt
  "The first object of my heart is my country.   In that is embarked my family, my fortune and my own existence. I have not one farthing of interest nor one fibre of attachment out of it, nor a single motive of preference of any one nation to another but in proportion as they are more or less friendly to us." --- Thomas Jefferson 1799 to Elbridge Gerry _The Writings of Thomas Jefferson_ memorial edition 10:78  

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