2009 May

2nd month of the 2nd quarter of the 20th year of the Bush-Clinton-Shrub-Obummer economic depression

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updated: 2020-02-05

  "Virtually everyone agrees that we need to revitalize neighborhoods. But as is the case with family policy, there is sharp disagreement over how to achieve it.   Everyone agrees that job creation in the inner city is essential.   Conservatives hope to accomplish this by stimulating private investment through lower taxes -- that is, through less gov't.   Liberals hope to do it through more government -- that is, directly through public works programs or indirectly through government-assisted economic stimlus programs.   The unfortunate truth is that we have tried both over the past 30 years, & neither one has stemmed the deterioration of the inner city.   Under both the Great Society of the 1960s & conservative Reaganomics of the 1980s, the cities have contined to lose hundreds of thousands of manfacturing jobs.   Chicago lost more than 320K manfacturing jobs between 1967 & 1987; Philadelphia more than 160K; NYC more than 500K...   In the long run, families, neighborhoods, & jobs are the keys to reducing crime.   We set out in this book to find sensible policies that might reduce crime.   We didn't find any." --- Samuel Walker 1994 _Sense & Non-Sense about Crime & Drugs_ pg 290  

2009 May
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  It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom...   It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing & searching can be promoted by means of coercion & a sense of duty." --- Albert Einstein  




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

2009 May

2nd month of the 2nd quarter of the 10th year of the Clinton-Bush-Obama economic depression



2009-05-01 03:25PDT (06:25EDT) (10:25GMT)
Shelby G. Spires _Huntsville AL Times_
NASA will slash 900 space shuttle jobs in Florida by September
William Harwood: CNET/Ziff Davis/CBS
2004-10-11: Rebecca Sallee: Huntsville AL Times/Tennessee Valley Corridor: Propaganda -- Seeking more rocket scientists
"There are about 15K jobs across the nation tied to the shuttle program.   About 1K of those are in North Alabama, with Marshall Space Flight Center having about 350 federal employees working on the shuttle program."

Jan Falstad _Billings MT Gazette_
Recession drives up demand at libraries

_Daily Illini_
Disney, abc, GE, MSFT, NBC, Universal and News Corp. (Fox) join in hulu
"The new set-up also brings the owners of 3 of the 4 major broadcast networks -- abc, NBC and Fox -- into a fight for on-line eye-balls against the video streaming site TV.com, which CBS Corp.   acquired last year when it bought CNet Networks Inc. [aligned with Ziff Davis] for $1.8G...   [Google's YouTube] recently launched a 'Shows' section with older movies and TV episodes from partners Sony Corp., Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., CBS Corp., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Liberty Media Corp.   Hulu ranks as the No. 4 on-line video site in the U.S.A., with 41.6M viewers of its videos in March, according to tracking firm comScore.   That placed it behind Google sites, including YouTube, at 100.3M; News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media, which includes MySpace, at 55.2M; and Yahoo! sites at 42.5M.   CBS sites ranked fifth at 35.4M monthly viewers."

Stephen Zyszkiewicz
CocoHeads calendar for May
CocoaHeads is an international Mac programmer's group. Meetings are free and open to the public.   We specialize in Cocoa, but everything Mac programming related is welcome.
AustraliaMelbourneThursday, 2009 May 14, 18:00
CanadaOttawa/GatineauThursday, 2009 May 14, 19:00
GermanyBerlinThursday, 2009 May 7, 19:00 at Cafe Karma
GermanyFrankfurt am MainWednesday, 2009 May 6, 19:00
MexicoMexico CityThursday, 2009 May 7, 19:00
South AfricaJohannesburgThursday, 2009 May 14, 18:30
SwedenStockholmMonday, 2009 May 4, 19:00
USAGA, AtlantaThursday, 2009 May 14, 19:00
USAMA, BostonThursday, 2009 May 14, 19:00
USACO, BoulderTuesday, 2009 May 12, 19:00
USACO, Colorado SpringsThursday, 2009 May 14, 19:00
USAIA, Des MoniesThursday, 2009 May 14, 19:00
USAAR, FayettevilleThursday, 2009 May 14, 19:00
USAMO, Kansas CityTuesday, 2009 May 5, 18:30
USACA, Lake ForestWednesday, 2009 May 13, 19:00
USATN, NashvilleThursday, 2009 May 14, 19:00
USANY, New YorkThursday, 2009 May 14, 18:00
USAPA, PhiladelphiaThursday, 2009 May 14, 19:00
USAPA, PittsburghThursday, 2009 May 14, 19:30
USAMO, St. LouisSaturday, 2009 May 30, 14:00
United KingdomSwindonMonday, 2009 May 4, 19:00
Some chapters may have yet to post their meeting for the month. Meeting times may change.   Locations and more CocoaHeads information here.   Also be sure to check for an NSCoder Night in your area.

2009-05-01 07:52PDT (10:52EDT) (14:52GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index rose from 57.3 in March to 61.9 in mid-April to 65.1 in late April

India's merchandise exports down 33.3%, 15.3% down from 2008 March to 2008 March: The most in 14 years

_Seeking Alpha_
Newmount Mining 2009Q1 call transcript
"[Red China] revealed that it is over 1K tons of gold in reserves, much higher amount than previously estimated...   during the last 12 months the Indian Rupiya (sic)[Rupee] has lost 25% of its value against the dollar"

Dice Report: 49,016 job ads

body shop21,742
full-time temp30,039
part-time temp1,040


S&P 500877.52
10-year US T-Bond3.17%
crude oil$53.20/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Commodities" and "Metals" and "Currencies" columns.

  "The best empires have added greatly to human happiness; they have established peace over wide areas, have built roads, have improved public health, have stimulated trade, have brought improved systems of law, have introduced new technical knowledge, & so on." --- W. Arthur Lewis 1955 _The Theory of Economic Growth_ pg 371 (quoted in Lawrence E. Harrison 1992 _Who Prospers?_ pg 216)  



  "Value is thus the importance that individual goods or quantities of goods attain for us because we are conscious of being dependent on command of them for the satisfaction of our needs...   OT1H, perception of this quantitative relationship stimulates our provident activity, thus causing goods subject to this relationship to become objects of our economizing...   OTOH, perception of the same relationship makes us aware of the significance that command of each concrete unit of the available quantities of these goods has for our lives & well-being, thus causing it to attain value for us.   Just as a penetrating investigation of mental processes makes the cognition of external things appear to be merely our consciousness of the impressions made by the external things upon our persons, & thus, in the final analysis, merely the cognition of states of our own persons, so too, in the final analysis, is the importance that we attribute to things of the external world only an out-flow of the importance to us of our continued existence & development (life & well-being).   Value is therefore nothing inherent in goods, no property of them, but merely the importance that we first attribute to the satisfaction of our needs, that is, to our lives & well-being, & in consequence carry over to economic goods as the exclusive causes of the satisfaction of our needs." --- Carl Menger 1871 _Principles of Economics_ (translated by James Dingwall & Bert F. Hoselitz) pp 115-116  



2009-05-03 10:09PDT (13:09EDT) (17:09GMT)
Jennifer Latson _Houston Chronicle_
Lay-offs cut deeper than just loss of income

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
The Wages of Leftism Euphemistically Called "Progressivism"

Donald A. Collins _V Dare_
A Democrat's deep distress over our new ruling oligarchy's plans to grant amnesty to 12M to 24M illegal aliens

  "The work is vast, complex, & difficult.   To visit from time to time all the abodes of want in a population of 650K souls -- to discriminate between honest poverty & imposture -- to elevate & not debase by relief -- to arrest the vagrant -- reclaim the intemperate -- sympathize with the suffering -- counsel the erring -- stimulate the indolent -- give work to the idle --... is an undertaking of all others, one of the most arduous & difficult." --- NYAICP 1854 _11th Annual Report_ pg 39 (quoted in Marvin Olasky 1992 _The Tragedy of American Compassion_ pg 30)  



Matthew Benjamin & Rich Miller _Bloomberg_
"Great Recession" of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama Depression will re-define "full employment" as many jobs vanish
alternate link

2009-05-04 12:51PDT (15:51EDT) (19:51GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Obama says he wants to crack down on internation extortion avoiders
"A key initiative would narrow a provision that allowed U.S. companies to defer paying U.S. taxes on the profits they make on their over-seas investments.   Another would eliminate a loophole that allowed companies to make foreign subsidiaries disappear for tax purposes.   A new report by the General Accounting Office, the watch-dog agency of Congress, found that of the 100 largest U.S. corporations, 83 have subsidiaries in tax havens...   In 2004, the last year for which data are available, U.S. multi-national corporations paid about $16G of U.S. tax on approximately $700G of foreign active earnings -- an effective tax rate of about 2.3% [and an unknown amount of foreign taxes]."

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Can Obama curb off-shoring with tax code?   Does he want to?: Experts say "no" because the real draw is the low cost of labor in places like India, Red China and VietNam

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Correlation does not always imply cause and effect

Frosty Wooldridge _News with Views_
_American on the brink: The next added 100M Americans_

  "After the age of 30, growth hormone levels fall about 14% for each successive decade.   In numerical values, daily GH release drops from about 500 micrograms (mcg) at 20 years of age, to 200 mcg at 40 years, & 25 mcg at 80 years of age (Fig 1).   Women tend to have higher circulating levels of growth hormone than men.   It is estimated that over 35% of men over the age of 60 are clinically deficient in growth hormone." --- Jennifer Mueller 1997-11-?? "Growth Hormone Stimulators" _Nutritional News_ pp 1 & 3 (citing I.M. Chapman, M.I. Hartman, S.S. Pezzoli et al. 1997 "Effect of Aging on the Sensitivity of Growth Hormone Secretion..." _Journal of Clinical Endocrine Metabolism_ vol 82 pp 2996-3004)  



_Economic Times of India_
Foreign agents in India spend millions to pervert US legislation
"Reliance Industries, NASSCOM, Sun Pharma and Orchid Chemicals -- have together paid close to $275K (about Rs 1.4 crore) towards lobbying their causes during the first 3 months of 2009...   NASSCOM made a total payment of $340K towards lobbying on issues like technology and immigration during 2008, while the figures for the previous years are $280K each in 2007 and 2006, $100K in 2005, $180K in 2004 and $200K in the year 2003.   Orchid Chemicals has also been paying $10K every quarter since second quarter of 2008, while Sun Pharma has paid about $75K since 2008."

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
under-payment of H-1Bs, the age issue, and character assassination
Vivek Wadhwa needs no introduction to readers of this e-news-letter.   He is a former [body shop] CEO who recently obtained a couple of academic positions and has been writing about the role of imported foreign workers in tech fields.   I've praised some of his research studies here (though I've critiqued others).
Vivek and I have been interacting both publicly and privately for almost 3 years now.   He and I agree that
(a) employers use H-1B workers as cheap labor (it is legal to do so, mind you),
(b) there is no tech labor shortage, and
(c) older programmers (I draw the line at age 35) are spurned by employers who hire young H-1Bs.
Vivek and I do disagree on a couple of important issues, one of which I will discuss below.   And discussion on issues of disagreement should be frank and lively, maybe even what Eric Weinstein called "academic derision" in a seminar last week.   But resorting to character assassination should be out of bounds.
Unfortunately, Vivek made the following statement as a guest on a talk radio show today (mp3).   In addressing John Miano of the Programmers Guild, another guest on the show, Vivek said:
I got to tell you, you and Matloff, he just makes up numbers out of nowhere, he says I did this study and here's the numbers. [...a failing from which Wadhwa seems to suffer, himself.]
Come on, this is outrageous, and some would say legally actionable.   And it was not some random blurting out; on the contrary, he made the same remark to me in personal e-mail on April 11: "In fact, I am convinced that you are ignoring facts to suit your biases.   You are simply making data up."   (I normally do not divulge contents of e-mail messages without asking permission, but this is really too much.)
Some of you readers will recall Vivek's recent appearance on CNBC with professor Ron Hira, in which Vivek treated Ron in a manner which which might charitably described as badgering or browbeating, but which I think can be fairly described as insulting.
That was a regrettable incident that was personally very painful for me to watch.   But at least Vivek didn't accuse Ron Hira of dishonesty, as Vivek has now done to me.   This is just plain wrong, Vivek.
I'm enclosing below Vivek's recent op-ed, in which he tries to reduce the H-1B issue down to racism and xenophobia.   He knows better.   As noted earlier, and as he noted himself during the show, abuse of the H-1B for cheap labor is commonplace.   And moreover, the abuse is FULLY LEGAL, due to huge loop-holes, as again Vivek himself noted in an article the Journal of the American Enterprise Institute:
I know from my experience as a tech CEO that H-1Bs are cheaper than domestic hires. Technically, these workers are supposed to be paid a "prevailing wage", but this mechanism is riddled with loop-holes.   In the tech world, salaries vary widely based on skill and competence.   Yet the prevailing wage concept works on average salaries, so you can hire a superstar for the cost of an average worker.
(I want to make it clear that Vivek is not accusing me of xenophobia, as he knows I'm a long-time minority activist and defender of immigrants.)
Vivek argues that the recent TARP legislation, which places certain restrictions on the hiring of H-1Bs by recipients of the bail-out funds, is sending the wrong message to foreign workers, maybe discouraging them from coming here.   This reasoning is invalid, because the TARP restrictions are NOTHING NEW [and nothing effective].   They are basically the same requirements that have been in place for decades for employer-sponsored green cards.   The banks, insurance companies and so on have been meeting these requirements for years and years, yet neither Vivek nor anyone else has characterized it as "sending the wrong message".
As to the entrepreneurial and patenting activities by foreign workers that Vivek keeps bringing up, none of the studies has shown that the immigration has brought the U.S.A. a NET GAIN in these activities.   On the contrary, in the case of patenting, the authors (including Vivek) have made disclaimers, stating that they are not claiming that the per capita rate of patenting is higher for immigrant engineers than for American engineers.   Immigration policy has squeezed many Americans out of the field, and discouraged many more who have interest in the field from entering it in the first place.   This is an internal brain drain, resulting in a loss of innovation and entrepreneurship from Americans.   (I've profiled specific cases in the past; for instance.)   The data indicate that this loss is about the same size as the gain, so in the end it's a wash.
At least Vivek and I agree on the age issue.   Younger workers are cheaper than older workers, and employers use the H-1B program (median age 27) to greatly expand the pool of younger workers.   As I've stated repeatedly, I consider this to be the heart of the H-1B program.   Vivek basically said the same thing (as he has before) on another radio talk show on May 1:
...even if the [older] $120K programmer gets the right skills, companies would rather hire the younger workers.   That's really what's behind this.
And he reaffirmed this in today's show, saying
...companies prefer younger workers, whether we like it or not.   That's the reality out there.   I know Norm Matloff will agree with me on this one.
I agree that that's the reality, but I surely don't agree that a government program, in this case H-1B, should be used as a vehicle for age discrimination.
Well, I'll end on that point of (semi-)agreement.   But I ask Vivek again to refrain from accusing me of dishonesty.
I have more postings in the pipe-line, concerning recent studies by Hunt and Mithas/Lucas, the abovementioned seminar by Eric Weinstein, and (still) my response to Bill Kerr.
Vivek Wadhwa: Business Week

Andrew S. Ros _San Francisco Chronicle_
Obama riled spoiled tech execs over out-sourcing and tax break for foreign earnings
"Cisco, Google and others have done very well by the current set-up.   Cisco, which had north of $30G in cash at last count, earned $5.6G over-seas in 2008.   By deferring taxes on those earnings, it enjoyed a 16% reduction in its U.S. tax rate, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of SEC filings.   Google got a 17.4% break thanks to tax deferrals on $7.7G of over-seas earnings.   HP, which reported a net profit of $1.8G in its last quarter, can defer taxes on $12.9G worth of foreign earnings, which it plans to reinvest over-seas indefinitely, according to an SEC filing reported by the San Jose Mercury News."

Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
EITC: the Federal Subsidy for Illegals and Their Employers

2009-05-05 (5769 Iyar 11)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
"Empathy" versus Law
"The biggest danger is that they will undermine or destroy the very concept of the rule of law..."

  "[Foxe's _Book of Martyrs_] central message was universally inspiring: the sovereignty of the individual against the power of gov't & institutionalized religion.   This message predictably incited demands for freedom of religion, speech, & press... [freedom] against self-incrimination...   the prohibition against unreasonable searches & seizures...   they created real popular perceptions that stimulated demands for individual rights & liberties.   Foxe's martyrs were a progressive force in history, whatever they may have been in flesh & blood." --- Alfred H. Knight 1996 _The Life of the Law_ pp 57-58  



Charles S. Johnson _Billings MT Gazette_
MT governor Brian Schweitzer signed bill to ban red-light cameras

Mark Thornton _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
What's wrong with the USA?

2009-05-06 05:23PDT (08:23EDT) (12:23GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
CGC: Announced lay-offs still high, but dropped to 6-month low in April
Ben Rooney: CNN
The Deal
John Paczkowski: Seeking Alpha
Francine Knowles & David Roeder: Chicago IL Sun Times
Janice Podsada: Hartford CT Courant
Voice of America
Toni Bowers: TechRepublic
Christopher Hinton: Fox
150,411 in March, 132,590 in April, up 47% from 90,015 job cuts in 2008 April; 711,100 so far in 2009.
The government and non-profit sector led the way in April with 27,624 planned job cuts, including 13,500 by New York City.   The auto industry announced 24,172 lay-offs in April, bringing the total since the beginning of the year to 101,036.   Industrial-goods companies have announced 78,968 job cuts through the first 4 months of 2009 compared to 16,569 last year.   The retail sector dumped 18,933 in the first 4 months of 2008 and 79,475 so far in 2009.

2009-05-06 (5769 Iyar 12)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
"Empathy" versus Law part 2

2009-05-06 (5769 Iyar 12)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Fraud in academia: Grade inflation
"From 1991 to 2007, in public institutions, the average grade point average (GPA) rose, on a 4-point scale, from 2.93 to 3.11.   In private schools, the average GPA climbed from 3.09 to 3.30.   Put within an historical perspective, in the 1930s [when about a third of the population graduated from HS], the average GPA was 2.35 (about a C-plus); whereby now it's a B-plus."

Edwin Koc & Mimi Collins _NACE_
College Class of 2009 Has Fewer Jobs in Hand
"NACE's 2009 Student Survey shows that just 19.7% of 2009 graduates who applied for a job actually have one.   In comparison, 51% of those graduating in 2007 and 26% of those graduating in 2008 who had applied for a job had one in hand by the time of graduation."

  "I am absolutely convinced that science is vastly more stimulating to the imagination than are the classics, but the products of the stimulus do not normally see the light because scientific men as a class are devoid of any perception of literary form." --- J.B.S. Haldane (quoted in Edward O. Wilson 1978 _On Human Nature_ pp 201-202)  



1992-05-07: 2nd amendment of Bill of Rights regulating congressional pay raises was ratified.

2009-05-07 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 534,047 in the week ending May 2, a decrease of 46,640 from the previous week [and below peak levels since 1992 except for 2007].   There were 335,547 initial claims in the comparable week in 2008.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.7% during the week ending April 25, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 6,255,432, a decrease of 46,247 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.2% and the volume was 2,956,644.   Extended benefits were available in AK, AZ, AR, CA, CT, DC, ID, IL, IN, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MT, NV, NJ, NC, OH, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, VT, WA, and WI during the week ending April 18.   [Note: The seasonal adjustment factors have been changed by DoL going back to at least the beginning of 2009.]"
more graphs

2009-05-07 07:15PDT (10:15EDT) (14:15GMT)
_WBAY_/_Wisconsin State Journal_/_AP_
Law students find even volunteer jobs are difficult to get

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
obligation is to U.S. workers: Napolitano also says DHS is increasing H-1B enforcement

2009-05-07 07:04PDT (10:04EDT) (14:04GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
US productivity rose 0.8% in 2009Q1

2009-05-07 11:00PDT (14:00EDT) (18:00GMT)
Andria Cheng _MarketWatch_
Total April retail sales rose an unexpected 1.2%

2009-05-07 12:15PDT (15:15EDT) (19:15GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US consumer credit dropped $11.1G in March to $2.55T

_Guest-Worker Fraud_
Australia restricts guest-worker visas, unemployment drops

2009-05-07 (5769 Iyar 13)
R' Avi Shafran _Jewish World Review_
The art of growth: Meeting Van Gogh underground spurs the author to a philosophical awakening

2009-05-07 (5769 Iyar 13)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
"Empathy" versus Law part 3

2009-05-07 (5769 Iyar 13)
Melanie Phillips _Jewish World Review_
Obama prepares to throw Israel under the bus

"I think it's important that people understand the sorts of values and sorts of standards that we have here, the fact that it's a privilege to come and the sort of things that mean you won't be welcome in this country.   Coming to this country is a privilege.   If you can't live by the rules that we live by, the standards and the values that we live by, we should exclude you from this country..." --- Jacqui Smith, home secretary of the UK (quoted on Lou Dobbs web site)

  "Creativity flourishes best in an environment where there's a relaxed spirit of playfulness.   Being able to relax as you think stimulates creativity...   Let your mind wander.   Use your sense of humor.   Avoid being too careful.   Think of creative thinking as fun & you're more likely to come up with some seriously profitable ideas." --- Michael LeBoeuf 1996 _The Perfect Business_ pp 120-121  


2009-05-08: V-E Day

Bibhu Ranjan Mishra _Business Standard_
NASSCOM wants more 'service visas' as H1-B/L1 visas become too much of a lightning rod
"Today, if you talk of H1 or L1 visa, it is just like showing red flag to a bull.   Any talk on visa is politically sensitive in the USA.   NASSCOM is doing a very commendable job by not naming the kind of visa they want, but by demanding a service visa which is of a similar nature.', said Kris Lakshmikanth, chief executive officer of Headhunters, a Bangalore-based [body shop]...   Among Indian IT companies, Infosys is the largest user of H-1B visas, followed by Wipro and [Tata].   According to a recent filing by Infosys, as of 2009 March 31, the company had approximately 8,200 H-1B visa-holders and about 1,400 L-1 visa-holders.   Among [multi-national companies, MSFT and Ill-Begotten Monstrosities] are the 2 big users of H-1B visas for Indian employees."
class action against Tata
Tata median salaries by city
Wipro median salaries by city
Infosys median salaries by city

Mark Scott _Business Week_
Cities where your job could be sent: New Off-Shoring Hot-Spots

2009-05-08 09:56PDT (12:56EDT) (16:56GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate 8.9%

2009-05-08 11:05PDT (14:05EDT) (18:05GMT)
Ben Dobbin, Ileana Morales & Kathleen Hennessey _Business Week_/_AP_
One sub-set of the under-employed are those who try to get by on fewer hours

2009-05-08 11:05PDT (14:05EDT) (18:05GMT)
Peter Whoriskey _Washington DC Post_
under re-structuring, GM to build more cars over-seas (with graph)
Reality Zone
"...the number of cars that GM sells in the United States and builds in Mexico, [Red China] and South Korea will roughly double. The proportion of GM cars sold domestically and manufactured in those low-wage countries will rise from 15% to 23% over the next 5 years..."

Dana Gabriel _Border Fire_
UN fails to respect USA sovereignty and constitution

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Amnesty unlikely to get through this year, and congress-critters will continue to be defeated due to their enthusiasm for excessive immigration

2009-05-08 (5769 Iyar 14)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
"Empathy" versus Law part 4

S&P 500929.23
10-year US T-Bond3.29%
crude oil$58.63/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Commodities" and "Metals" and "Currencies" columns.

  "Today, many people believe that Americans are innately spend-thrifts.   Few realize that before WW2, before the 'income' tax system reached its present form, Americans saved a larger portion of their earnings than the Japanese...   Oddly enough, under the bizarre rules that Americans have come to accept as the natural order of things, being deeply in hock is the only way most families have of protecting their financial future." --- Michael Rothschild 1992 _Bionomics_ pp 146-147 (citing Lawrence Summers "Stimulating American Personal Saving" in Charls E. Walker, Mark A. Bloomfield & Margo Thorning 1990 _The US Savings Challenge_)  



Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
University of Maryland paper on H-1B
The [linked] article from InformationWeek reports on recent research by Sunil Mithas and Henry Lucas, two University of Marland business professors.   The following passage in the article sums it up:
The new research dispels findings of some other studies that assert H-1B and other foreign workers are paid less than American IT professionals.   These other studied often use salary data from Labor Condition Applications, or LCAs, said Mithas.   However, analysis of pay data from LCAs, which employers file with the U.S. Department of Labor, do not reflect differences in education, experience levels, and other factors among workers, said Mithas.
The under-payment of H-1Bs is firmly established.   It has been shown repeatedly in a number of different ways.   This is not just anecdote, but the result of a number of statistical studies, employer surveys, etc.
Moreover, there is the fundamental economic principle that the H-1Bs, with very limited mobility in the labor market, simply cannot get salaries as high as U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who are free agents in the job market.   Indeed, even the Miths and Lucas study confirms this, as I will note later.
So, given all of this prior work showing under-payment of the H-1Bs, how did Maryland findings wind up contrary to the others?   This is the main question I'll address here.
Before I begin, please note that, while professors Mithas and Lucas kindly provided me with a copy of their paper, they asked me not to comment on its contents until the peer review process is complete.   They thus requested that I instead simply discuss the InformationWeek article.   In response, I asked their permission to at least quote one particular table in their paper that is especially significant, but again the authors stated that they do not want me to cite any of the contents of the paper.   I will of course honor their request.   BTW, they have seen a draft of this posting, and will give me a response to post here in about a week.
Now, as some mathematical riddles sometimes ask, "Where is the missing dollar?"   Why are the findings in the Maryland study so different from what has been found before?   Or, as the author of a book on debugging (_The Art of Debugging_ N. Matloff and P. Salzman, NSP, 2008), I might phrase the question as, "Where is the bug?"
Let's start with the authors' own explanation for the discrepancy (reproducing the above quote here for convenience):
The new research dispels findings of some other studies that assert H-1B and other foreign workers are paid less than American IT professionals.   These other studied often use salary data from Labor Condition Applications, or LCAs, said Mithas.   However, analysis of pay data from LCAs, which employers file with the U.S. Department of Labor, do not reflect differences in education, experience levels, and other factors among workers, said Mithas.
"There's no way to know whether those applications were approved, what the education levels were.", he said.

One can debate back and forth how reliable the LCAs are, but the key point is that other than John Miano's work, I am not aware of any other studies based on them.
For instance, none of my own studies has used the LCAs; I use the census data and the PERM data.   The UCLA study also is based on the census data.   The census and PERM data on for actual workers, not applications.   The NRC and GAO studies rely on employer surveys and the CPS mini-census.   So Mithas and Lucas' explanation for their own results being different from the earlier ones, due to a supposed reliance on LCA data, is not correct.
Now, what about the variables cited above, education and years of experience?   The census studies do control for education and experience levels (the latter proxied by age), and the employer surveys specifically asked the employers to compare salaries they paid to H-1Bs with the wages paid to comparable Americans, i.e. those with the same education, experience and so on.   So again, there is no problem here.
Thus professors Mithas and Lucas' explanation for the differences in outcomes between their study and the others is invalid.   Instead, the major culprit seems to be Mithas and Lucas' data source.   As noted in the article, Mithas and Lucas' analyzed survey data on InformationWeek's readers, which is not representative.
The magazine is mainly aimed at managers and nontechnical people affiliated with the IT industry.   Its self-description states, "InformationWeek: InformationWeek.com is the industry-leading source of news, analysis, and perspective, serving business technology executives at a cross section of companies."   Its job postings section currently lists the following positions:

% D. E. Shaw Research seeking Chief of Staff in New York, NY
% Switch and Data seeking Sr Product Marketing Manager in Tampa, FL
% Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson seeking Network Architect in Bismarck, ND
% Osram Sylvania seeking Benefits Specialist in Danvers, MA
% AccuWeather seeking Business Development Manager in Atlanta, GA
Only one of these, the network architect position, is a technical job.
To be sure, it must be pointed out that the magazine is indeed available in the coffee rooms of many major tech firms, and the reader survey data does include substantial numbers of programmers and software engineers.   But it also includes plenty of marketing people, benefits specialists and so on.   Furthermore, though some of these are H-1Bs too, they are not programmers and engineers, the core of the H-1B controversy.
The basic problem is that InformationWeek is not something that the typical software engineer at, say, Apple or Google would read, much less respond to its survey.   And of course this is an absolutely crucial point.   Many of you have probably heard of the famous Literary Digest election poll fiasco of 1936, in which that magazine's poll "showed" that Republican presidental candidate Alf Landon would overwhelmingly defeat Democrat Franklin Roosevelt.   In the end, Roosevelt was the victor, with 62% of the vote.
Why was the Literary Digest poll so far off?   The reason was that the population they polled -- their own readers, automobile owners etc. -- tended to be richer than average, and thus more Republican than average, skewing the results beyond recognition.   So, the nature of the population sampled is of the utmost importance.
Not only is there the issue of the population polled, but also the one of who responds.   Studies based on survey data are always shaky, due to self-selection biases in the response.   There is huge potential for self-selection problems in the InformationWeek data, as the 2009 survey, available on the web, states a response rate of under 4%.
In that context, one concern would be that USCIS (then INS) data show a wide variation in H-1B salaries by nationality, with workers from the Third World getting lower salaries.   On average the Chinese and Indians make about $20K less than those from the UK in the computer-related jobs, for example.   Based on my experience in the Chinese immigrant community (which by the way includes my conducting a survey, wearing my statistics professor hat, for the Chinese-language Sing Tao Daily), the response rate for the Chinese readers of InformationWeek would be markedly lower, thus artificially raising H-1B salaries in the survey.
There are a number of other issues.   Remember, the industry claims that the H-1Bs are hired primarily because they have special "hot" skill sets.   These generally command a salary premium of 15-25% (see data in my University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform article), so even if one were to take Mithas and Lucas' 5-9% as accurate, that would indicate net underpayment, not overpayment.   (The article below says that the authors analyzed "skills data", but that is not in the reader survey that was used.   It is simply a reference to education and number of years of experience.)
There is also the issue of contractors, who generally are the better-quality people who would be getting higher pay if they drew a salary.   Their exclusion (no salary to compare to) biases the results too.
Many readers of this e-news-letter will recall that in my studies I distinguish between Type I and II salary savings accrued by hiring H-1Bs.   Type I savings compare hiring an H-1B to hiring an American of the same education, experience and so on, which is the issue addressed by the Maryland study.   But Type II savings come from hiring a young H-1B instead of an older (35+) American.   As many readers know, it is Type II savings that I have always emphasized as being at the core of the attraction of the H-1B program for employers.   The Maryland study was not designed to deal with this issue, of course, but I wish to point out that though Type I salary savings is definitely real, my focus has been on Type II.
To end, let's turn to an aspect in which the Maryland study CONFIRMS the previous work on underpay-ment of H-1Bs.   Mithas and Lucas found that green card holders get paid more than H-1Bs of the same education and experience levels.   This jibes completely with the central point of the H-1B critics, that H-1Bs, as de facto indentured servants, are exploited in terms of salary.
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee: InformationWeek: Foreign IT Pros Working In U.S. Earning More Than Americans

_Billings MT Gazette_
Roll call report on local US congress-critters
Roll Call Votes

_You Tube_
senator Durbin questioning DHS secretary Janet Napolitano

  "Human freedom involves our capacity to pause between stimulus & response &, in that pause, to choose the 1 response toward which we wish to throw our weight.   The capacity to create ourselves, based upon this freedom, is inseparable from consciousness or self-awareness." --- Rollo May 1975 _The Courage to Create_ pg 100  



Joshua Brustein _NY Times_
White House Forecasts No Job Growth Until 2010

Peter Barry Chowka _American Thinker_
Supression of political speech: Michael Savage banned from the UK
"Never one to shrink from a challenge, especially one as potentially outrageous and damaging as this one, Savage devoted his entire nationally syndicated radio program on Tuesday, May 5 (it airs live M-F from 18 to 21 EDT) to defending himself from the allegations and threatening legal action for libel against the UK's Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, if his name was not immediately removed from the list.   According to independent audience ratings, Savage is the third most popular radio talk show host in the United States with eight million listeners a week on close to 400 terrestrial radio stations coast to coast.   He is also a widely read author, with 4 of his non-fiction books having made it to the New York Times best-seller list in recent years."
World Net Daily

_Roubini Global Economics_
The Economic Crisis Was Caused by Reduced Labor Income (with graphs)
Lord Sidcup, Mark Snyder et al.: Real Economy (with graphs)

Scott Wilson _CIO_
H-1B Frying pan to fire

  "All the motivational energy you'll ever need is within you.   Emotional talent is the capacity to stimulate & draw upon your natural fountain of energy." --- Dan Millman 1985 _The Warrior Athlete_ pg 63  



Patrick Thibodeau & John Ribeiro _Computer World_/_IDG_
Federal extortion changes won't curb off-shoring: Lower salaries are driving IT vendors to open offices over-seas

2009-05-11 (5769 Iyar 17)
Rabbi Doctor Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
Financial relationships, Talmudic style
"In general, Jewish law shuns oaths.   While oaths can be a valuable way to convince pious individuals to tell the truth, they have little impact on precisely the dishonest people they are meant to catch.   Furthermore, excessive use of oaths can lead to reducing the awe people feel towards them, and result in more oaths taken in vain -- a transgression so serious it violated one of the Ten Commandments."

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary _Computing_
A matter of trust
"Techgirl": TechGoss: Indian firm tries to bribe British tech journalist
Indian bribe offer to British Journalist

Joe Kaufman _Muslims Against Sharia_
Questions about age and associations of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
Discover the Networks: Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
Clarion Project: Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)

  "When a simple movement like raising a finger is requested of the subject & the cerebral blood flow is measured, the flow increases in the opposite motor cortex.   But if a skilled movement is requested... increased blood flow occurs in the opposite cortex & in the supplementary motor area on both sides.   The complex movement involves a 'program' which synchronizes the actions of many muscles.   Damage in this area results in apraxia...   But here is the really amazing finding: If the subject is instructed not to make a complex movement but only think about doing so, indeed not to move a single muscle, blood flow is increased to the supplementary motor cortex but not to the motor cortex on the 2 sides from where the actual muscle movements are carried out...   Obviously thinking about making a movement at a time of one's own choosing & altering one's own brain operation in the process cannot be explained on the basis of a stimulus followed by a response." --- Richard M. Restak 1994 _The Modular Brain_ pg 45  



Dan Stein _USA Today_
Invest in American workers
Yes, the USA has been handing out far too many student visas, exchange visas and guest-worker visas to bring in too much less brilliant talent, and drive out gifted US citizens.

_Wall Street Journal_
Geithner confesses Fed & other countries' monetary policy was too infationary for too long

2009-05-12 12:10PDT (15:10EDT) (19:10GMT)
Alistair Barr & Matt Andrejczak _MarketWatch_
Executive compensation system still needs corrections
"CEOs made 344 times more the average worker in 2007, according to a survey from United for a Fair Economy, which targets economic inequality.   That's up from less than 150-to-one in 1992.   In 1988, the value of 'mega-grants' of equity for CEOs averaged $1.47M.   By 2003, the average equity grant was worth $3.3M.   But the mega-grants of the late 1980s were one-off awards.   15 years later, CEOs were getting 2.2 times as much every year, according to consulting firm The Delves Group...   86% of investors said the system had led to excessive executive pay and 61% of directors agreed."

_Business Standard_
it's about labor arbitrage with off-shoring
"Indian IT's business model, till now centred on 'delivering a one-time labour arbitrage based on an off-shore centric model', is critically dependent on on-site rates being 3 to 4 times off-shore rates.   Till now banking, finance and insurance, telecommunications, manufacturing and retail have been among the important verticals.   But in the new scenario emerging, most of the growth will come from newer verticals like energy efficiency, climate change, healthcare and mobile applications."

Roy Beck _Numbers USA_
Let's kill the visa lottery before it gives away another 50K US jobs

Andrea Orr _Economic Policy Institute_
Enforcement of H-1B laws is needed

Evelyn Fernandez _WCBD TV Charleston, SC_
Arcelor Mittal announced plan for mass lay-off from Georgetown SC steel plant in July

2009-05-12 (5769 Iyar 18)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Opportunity is knocking at Israel's door
"Each side wants more from the other than the other can reasonably provide.   But each side also has much to gain even if it doesn't achieve everything it wants.   The art of alliance building is making the new ally both happy with what it gets and comfortable with not getting everything it wants."

2009-05-12 (5769 Iyar 18)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Talking points

2009-05-12 (5769 Iyar 18)
Mona Charen _Jewish World Review_
Obama's Signal to Israel: Submit

2009-05-12 (5769 Iyar 18)
R' David Aaron _Jewish World Review_
The ABCs of Kabbalah: On the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yachoi, author of the Zohar, the primary book of Jewish mysticism, an overview of an often misunderstood Judaic discipline
"When you are offered a gift, do not take it; instead, make of yourself a space that can receive it.   Kabbalah is not only about getting more out of life; it is about receiving life as a gift.   It is about the art of receiving life's gifts of love, spiritual growth, awareness, creativity, freedom, inner peace, happiness, and holiness.   Mastering the art of receiving is not merely a private matter for each of us...   we have the power to increase the spiritual light in the world or decrease it..."

2009-05-12 (5769 Iyar 18)
Rita C. Tostes, Victor Lima et al. _Science Daily_/_Medical College of Georgia_
new evidence of how high glucose levels in blood damages blood-vessels by modifying proteins; could lead to new treatments

  "Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, & just as hard to sleep after." --- Anne Morrow Lindbergh (quoted in Patty Marler & Jan Bailey Mattia 1998 _NetWorking Made Easy_ pg 44)  



2009-05-12 21:01PDT (2009-05-13 00:01EST) (2009-05-13 04:01GMT)
Alistair Barr _MarketWatch_
10 most unreasonable CEO perks

Andrew Nusca _Ziff Davis_/_CNET_/_CBS_
European Commission declared that Intel "abused dominant position" WRT AMD: Assessed $1.446G fine
Aude Lagorce & Benjamin Pimentel: MarketWatch
Mark Gregory: BBC
"Kroes said Intel 'used illegal anti-competitive practices to exclude its only competitor and reduce consumers' choice -- and the whole story is about consumers', adding that Intel's practices 'undermined innovation'".

2009-05-13 00:59PDT (03:59EDT) (07:59GMT)
Robert Daniel _MarketWatch_
342,038 properties foreclosed in April

Zoya Anna Thomas _Silicon India_
Immigration law firms feeling heat as talk of increased scrutiny reduce applications

2009-05-13 06:31PDT (09:31EDT) (13:31GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Retail sales fell 0.4% in April

2009-05-13 07:25PDT (10:25EDT) (14:25GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Falling exports pushed trade deficit to $27.6G
BEA press release

2009-05-13 08:15PDT (11:15EDT) (15:15GMT)
Bruce Landis _Providence RI Journal_
Rhode Island's roads are among the nation's worst: NV, GA, FL, MT among best
Rich Shopes: Tampa Bay Tribune
"Only 18% of RI's roads were in good condition, the study says.   GA had 92% of its roads in good condition, NV 81%, FL & MT 76%, KS 75%.   Jacksonville and Orlando rated 69% and 68%, respectively.   Tampa-St Petersburg came in at 67%.   The association says the nation's roads and bridges are deteriorating rapidly and fixing them will cost $166G a year through 2015, significantly higher than the $78G invested nationally in 2006."

2009-05-13 11:11PDT (14:11EDT) (18:11GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Federal government has 1st red ink April in 26 years as extortion fails to keep up with spending

Devlin Barrett _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
Pentagon worker charged with sending info to Red China
"Court papers charge that Fondren, 62, provided information to a friend named Tai Shen Kuo, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Taiwan who lived primarily in Louisiana.   FBI investigators say that unbeknownst to Fondren, Kuo was taking orders from the [Red Chinese] government.   Officials say Fondren believed the information was being sent to Taiwan.   Between 2004 and 2008, Fondren gave Kuo classified information through 'opinion papers' he sold to Kuo for between $350 and $800 apiece, officials charge.   Eight of the papers allegedly contained classified information, according to investigators."

_Billings MT Gazette_
senate considering cutting tax breaks to employers for health care insurance: ObummerDoesn'tCare

_Express Buzz_
US consul in Hyderabad says H-1B visas are being issued with little more scrutiny than in the past

"Vi Ransel" _Op Ed News_
Class Warfare and Protectionism in America
"If you were an American manufacturer, and you wanted to sell your products to Big Box Store, you had to produce it cheap, cheap, cheap.   So you left America and produced it on the backs of those 'cheap labor platforms' over-seas.   And to do that you closed more and more American manufacturing plants and transferred more and more American jobs over-seas...   a niche, a nit-brained, immoral niche of law/consulting firms that do little but make sure 'American' corporations do not find any qualified Americans to do these jobs.   Enter H-1B, a visa that allows these 'American' corporations to import labor, thus displacing even more American workers, who are now competing with other out-of-work Americans, those 'cheap labor platforms' in other countries, the labor scaffold trans-nationals are constructing out of illegal aliens, and legal aliens on H-1B visas brought to America specifically to take more American jobs."

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Pork and Socialism
Daniel Henninger: Wall Street Journal: Pork Nation

2009-05-13 (5769 Iyar 19)
Jeff Jacoby _Jewish World Review_
Lady Justice's Blindfold
Boston Globe
Jeff Jacoby
About.com: 28 USC part 1 chapter 11 section 453
Cornell law school: 28 USC part 1 chapter 11 section 453

Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Who Rules America?

Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
April Jobs: Immigrant Displacement of American Workers Resumes

Arcelor Mittal plans mass lay-off in July from Indiana Harbor steel mill

Fewer Grads Have Jobs, More Headed to Grad School
"approximately 26% from Class of 2009 [planned to go to grad school], vs. 24% of the Class of 2008, and 20% of the Class of 2007."

2009-05-13 (5769 Iyar 19)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
The Blame Game
Washington Times
St. Augustine FL Record
Detroit News
"government regulators were precisely the ones who imposed lower mortgage lending standards -- and it was members of Congress (of both parties) and who pushed the regulators, the banks and the mortgage-buying giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into accepting risky mortgages, in the name of 'affordable housing' and more home ownership.   Presidents of both parties also jumped on the bandwagon...   When the housing boom was going along merrily, Congressman Barney Frank was proud to be one of those who were pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into more adventurous financial practices, in the name of 'affordable housing'...   Regulation is of course not always bad, and it would be hard to find anyone of any party who says that it is.   Moreover, Congressman Frank had some Republican collaborators in pushing regulators to push banks into risky mortgage lending...   Although this is the biggest housing disaster the government has ever produced, it is by no means the first.   Republicans intervened in the housing markets to promote more home ownership in the 1920s, Democrats in the 1930s and both parties after World War II.   All of these interventions led to massive foreclosures."

2009-05-13 (5769 Iyar 19)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Race talk/Nomenclature nonsense
Pittsburgh PA Tribune-Review
Washington Times
World Net Daily

Scott Ellsworth _CocoaHeads_
CocoaHeads meeting tonight in Lake Forest, CA
"Meeting tonight!   CocoaHeads Lake Forest will be meeting on the second Wednesday of the month.   We will be meeting at our usual location, Orange County Public Library (El Toro) community room, 24672 Raymond Way, Lake Forest, CA 92630.   Please join us Wednesday, 5/13 from 19:00 to 21:00.   Paul Agron will be presenting a UI-centric logging/tracing framework called SymbicLogKit.   Since the presentation at LA Cocoaheads, the framework has been backported to Tiger.   To find out more, check out his web log.   Bring your comments, your books, and your bugs, and we will leap right in.   As always, details can be found on the cocoaheads web site."

  "Caught in this cross-fire of verbiage & long-buried emotion in the context of a grueling group ordeal, a person may reach a state of explosive over-stimulation or emotional collapse.   In the after-math of this overwhelming new experience, he or she may enter a state of mind that is perceived as a renewal or rebirth & which may be, in fact, an on-going physical & emotional high.   Successful self-help therapy graduates often achieve a sustained state of euphoria, their problems solved because they have, in effect, stopped worrying about the things that were bothering them.   At the present time, our language has no term for this new way of coping with the problems of life.   We can describe the process as 1 of shutting off the mind, of not-thinking." --- Flo Conway & Jim Siegelman 1995 _Snapping_ pp 52-53  



2009-05-14 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 565,395 in the week ending May 9, an increase of 27,856 from the previous week.   There were 325,480 initial claims in the comparable week in 2008.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.6% during the week ending May 2, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 6,166,785, a decrease of 95,837 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,845,952.Extended benefits were available in AK, AZ, AR, CA, CT, DC, ID, IL, IN, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MT, NV, NC, NC, OH, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, VT, WA, and WI during the week ending April 25.   [Note: The seasonal adjustment factors have been changed by DoL going back to at least the beginning of 2009.]"
more graphs

Laura Tode _Billings MT Gazette_
HS student Brittany LaRoque advances less expensive technique to moderate bio-fuel pH
"Edward Gillig and Hannah Olson, juniors at Central High, are taking their project, 'Examination of the Relationship between Resveratrol and Telomerase in Saccaromyces Cerevisiae', and Robin Byron, a home-schooled sophomore from Hardin, is taking a project titled 'Testing E. coli from the Bighorn River for Antibiotic Sensitivities'."

2009-05-14 12:00PDT (15:00EDT) (19:00GMT)
Ken McLaughlin & Mike Swift _San Jose CA Mercury News_
Asian and Hispanic invasion of Silicon Valley continue
Santa Cruz CA Sentinel
"Despite predictions that Asian growth would slow as the worldwide economic slump slammed Silicon Valley, the new data shows Santa Clara County from 2007 to 2008 added more new Asian residents than any other county in the nation -- nearly 18K people. Census estimates show the number of Asians in the county grew by 3.4% year to year. The number of Latinos in the county grew by 3.2% and the number of whites decreased by 0.2%, according to a Mercury News computer analysis of the new data...   In 2007, more than 70% of all births in Santa Clara County -- about 19K -- were to either Asian or Latino mothers.   Nationwide, Asians also slowed their population increases from 3.7% in 2001 to about 2.5%."

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Government employees' unions resist cuts in compensation

Thomas E. Brewton & Fred Siegel _View from 1776_
NYC is preview of USA's disastrous leftist future
Fred Siegel: Commentary: NYC on the precipice

2009-05-14 (5769 Iyar 20)
Cal Thomas _Jewish World Review_
Heard That (Middle East) Song Before

2009-05-14 (5769 Iyar 20)
R' Yonason Goldson _Jewish World Review_
The Grass is Always Greener After the Apocalypse

Thomas Sowell _Norwich CT Bulletin_
Politicians do harm, then shift the blame

  "Throughout history, this systematic stilling of human awareness has proved an efficient method of controlling members of tribes, societies & whole nations in which little value is placed upon individuality." --- Flo Conway & Jim Siegelman 1995 _Snapping_ pg 53  



Jason Scott _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
PA Public Utility Commission approved use of chlorine/ammonia combination for water supplies

Mike Dennison _Billings MT Gazette_
MT Public Service Commission green lights gas-fired power plant that will raise costs per household by $35 to $50 per year
"The PSC also plans to allow NorthWestern a rate of return on its investment of up to 10.25%, which is less than the 10.75% requested by the company.   The Montana Consumer Counsel, which, like Molnar, said the company needed to take a closer look at less costly alternatives, said the rate of return should be in the 8% to 9% range."

2009-05-15 06:30PDT (09:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Fed says industrial production fell 0.5% in April
"Capacity utilization fell from 69.4% in March to a record-low 69.1% in April."

Kiyoshi Takenaka & Taiga Uranaka _Washington Post_
Panasonic posted record loss, plans to close 40 plants, cut 15K employees

2009-05-15 (07:33PDT) (10:33EDT) (14:33GMT)
William L. Watts & Steve Goldstein _MarketWatch_
"Euro-zone" posted record 4.5% drop in GDP

2009-05-15 08:15PDT (11:15EDT) (15:15GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index rose from 65.1 in April to 67.9

2009-05-15 10:31PDT (13:31EDT) (17:31GMT)
Ronald D. Orol _MarketWatch_
SEC moving to give stock-owners more say in election of boards of directors
"the commission plans to introduce a proposal on May 20 that would allow shareholders to nominate a minority slate of director candidates to be put up for election on corporate boards...   Specifically, the SEC's first approach would allow long-term share-holder groups at large capitalization corporations holding 1% of the company's stock market capitalization to nominate a short-slate of director candidates.   Investor groups would need a 3% stake at mid-sized companies and 5% at smaller public corporations.   Investors could nominate one director candidate for four-person boards, 2 candidates for six-director boards and 3 nominees for a vote on whether they should sit on larger boards, people familiar with the proposal said."

2009-05-15 10:35PDT (13:35EDT) (17:35GMT)
Kelly Wilson _Cumberland ccounty PA Sentinel_
Girls' Vo-Tech Day
"Jobs in skills-oriented fields are in high demand, she said, and increasingly those careers are relying on workers whose knowledge goes beyond the basics of the trade to include, for example, a knowledge of the computer systems in some cars.   The grant also tries to show young students of either sex that they can make 'family sustaining' wages at jobs like those they find in vocational technical classes, said Joanna Stoms, tech prep coordinator with the consortium.   And there's plenty of room for more young people in auto repair work, automotive technology teacher David Appleman said...   Dealerships may be in a tight spot in the current economy, Appleman said, but independent garages are doing well."

2009-05-15 13:34PDT (16:34EDT) (20:34GMT)
Kate Gibson _MarketWatch_
18% of incoming U.S. CEOs also holding the board chairman title, down from above 40% in 2004
"The survey showed 18% of financial services industry CEO lost their jobs in 2008, with forced ousters in the sector climbing to 8.8%, more than double the historical rate of 3.4%.   Forced CEO ousters in the energy sector also hit a record high 5.6%, versus the average 2.7% seen in years past."

Floyd Brown & Mary Beth Brown _Town Hall_
UK is now the savage nation

David Limbaugh _News Max_
health-care statists out to plunder the public: ObummerDoesn'tCare
One News Now
World Net Daily
Human Events

2009-05-15 (5769 Iyar 21)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
The EU myth curiously prevails

2009-05-15 (5769 Iyar 21)
R' Berel Wein _Jewish World Review_
Triumph with tragedy: The end of Leviticus reminds us not to let the present blind us to the future
"Chazak chazak v'nitchzeik — Be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened!"

S&P 500882.88
10-year US T-Bond3.14%
crude oil$56.34/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Commodities" and "Metals" and "Currencies" columns.

2009-05-16: Armed Forces Day

Thomas Sowell _Lew Rockwell_
Comments on Torture
Real Clear Politics
NH Union Leader

  "The responses & results that you receive from anyone, in any situation, are triggered by the stimuli you provide...   If you behave in purposeful, meaningful, constructive ways, you get superior results." --- Phillip C. McGraw 1999 _Life Strategies_ pg 127  



2009-05-16 19:57PDT (2009-05-16 22:57EDT) (2009-05-17 02:57GMT)
William Maratos _Green Valley AZ News_
American jobs in serious jeopardy
"Unless the Obama administration legislates genuine changes like the revision of existing trade agreements (or preferably their entire repeal), and simultaneously enact a 3-5 year moratorium on all immigration, and return to their country of origin all TWV holders and illegal aliens, there is no real prospect of an authentic economic recovery...   Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, in somewhat similar circumstances, did exactly this.   Also the transfer of American factories abroad should be actively discouraged.   This can be done effectively by levying high import taxes if products are re-exported to the USA.   The custom duties imposed should be calculated on the basis of the imported items being unable to compete with local production.   This would certainly dampen enthusiasm for mass relocations abroad."

2009-05-17 04:32PDT (07:32EDT) (11:32GMT)
Matt Glynn _Buffalo NY News_
ArcelorMittal's Lackawanna NY galvanizing mill, once part of Bethleham Steel, shut down
Trading Markets
"About 260 employees were working at the site when steel-maker ArcelorMittal announced last December that the plant was destined for a spring-time shut-down...   Among its USA operations, it has recently ceased or cut back operations in IL, SC and Cleveland, OH, and just announced nearly 900 lay-offs at a plant in East Chicago, IN...   The company's annual meeting in Luxembourg earlier this month was marred by a violent protest.   Arcelor-Mittal workers from France and Belgium set off smoke bombs and broke windows at the company's head-quarters in an effort to disrupt the meeting...   On Wednesday, the company announced it will indefinitely lay off nearly 1K workers at its Indiana Harbor West mill in East Chicago in July.   On the same day, it also announced the temporary closing of a steel rod plant in Georgetown, SC, that employs 242...   Last month, the company reported a $1.06G first-quarter loss as sales fell 49% to $15.12G, from $29.81G a year earlier...   Union members say the company has rebuffed efforts by a prospective buyer, whom they would not identify for confidentiality reasons, to keep the site alive making a different product.   In the mean-time, union members say, the company is having equipment and machinery dismantled and shipped out to some other plants...   ArcelorMittal has been reticent in its public comments about efforts to buy the operation."

_Billings MT Gazette_/_AP_
State high court in spotlight: Republicans call for non-partisan pick for redistricting panel

Moira Herbst _Business Week_
O-1 Visas, when only genii need apply
"9,014 O-1s were awarded in 2008, up 40% from 2004... From 2004 to 2008, approvals averaged 94%, according to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services."

Steve Campbell _Dallas/Ft. Worth TX Star-Telegram_
Job seekers are heading to Texas
"Texas has lost jobs in the recession, with the unemployment rate at 6.7% in March, the highest mark since January 2004, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.   But that still looks good compared with MI (12.6% unemployment), OR (12.1%), SC (11.4%), CA (11.2%) or NC (10.4%)...   Caterpillar is building a 850K-square-feet diesel-engine plant that will employ 1,400 in her town of 25,091 east of San Antonio [while announcing work hour and employment reductions in Indiana and Illinois]...   $2,141: U-Haul rental from Los Angeles to Fort Worth; $557: U-Haul rental from Fort Worth to Los Angeles."

_Jihad Watch_
Tracker/killer chip patent application filed

David Horowitz _Front Page Magazine_
The Radical Left Concedes the Academy Is Left; The Anti-Obama Peace March

Steve Sailer _V Dare_
Foreclosures: The Minority Mortgage Melt-Down

Kathleen Walter & Thomas Sowell _News Max_
Thomas Sowell: Regulators Started Housing Crisis

  "We wish to let every treaty we have drop off without renewal...   The interest which European nations feel as well as ourselves in the mutual patronage of commercial intercourse is a sufficient stimulus on both sides to ensure that patronage.   A treaty contrary to that interest renders war necessary to get rid of it." --- Thomas Jefferson 1801 to William Short. _The Writings of Thomas Jefferson_ memorial edition 10:287  



Karl Flinders _Computer Weekly_
Wipro shopping more non-Indian bodies to assuage back-lash
"Currently, about 8% of its workers are from outside India.   Andy Gallagher, consultant at Compass Management Consulting, said Wipro is not alone in increasing the number of staff it has outside India...   'The off-shore/on-shore model, where you fly Indian staff over for a few months at a time,is losing its attractiveness.   Clients are beginning to say they do not get continuity when people come over on 90-day visa.   Also the cost difference between employing local people and flying people from India is reducing.'"
Tata median salaries by city
Wipro median salaries by city
Infosys median salaries by city

2009-05-18 12:32PDT (15:32EDT) (19:32GMT)
Libby Quaid _AP_/_Yahoo!_
US students hold their own internationally (with graphs)
"While they're not in first place, U.S. students generally hold their own on international tests.   They spend more time in school than the Obama administration would have you believe.   And their college graduation rates stack up better than reported...   the U.S.A. has gained on some of its toughest competitors since 1995...   The average U.S. eighth-grader has 1,146 instructional hours a year, compared with 923 hours a year in South Korea."

USCIS Updates Information on FY2010 H-1B Petition Filings
"USCIS has received approximately 45,500 H-1B petitions...   Additionally, the agency has received approximately 20K petitions for aliens with advanced degrees; however, we continue to accept advanced degree petitions since experience has shown that not all petitions received are approvable."

_Jihad Watch_
Indonesia: Islamic group attacks home of newly elected Christian legislator, warns him to convert to Islam

Brenda Walker _V Dare_
San Francisco Leftists: Restless but Leaderless on Immigration

  "It is often not sufficient to be granted a gift or a talent.   That gift may very well go unnoticed and unappreciated if nobody informs us that we have it.   It is a known phenomenon that people often do not recognize their own talents.   (Even more curious is that they often pretend they possess ones they don't particularly have.   People are far quicker to deny their weaknesses (which they're quite strongly aware of) than admit their strengths).   Perhaps we become so accustomed to our talents we fail to fully appreciate just how truly blessed we are.   Or perhaps we subconsciously deny them for we realize that with great talent comes great responsibility.   Or perhaps we have only vague ideas about our abilities to begin with (which says a lot about how well people know themselves), and only when they are clearly defined and spelled out do we really begin to understand just whom we are.   Regardless of the reasons, however, there are certain things in life which G-d wanted to make absolutely certain we would not overlook.   There are certain human and Jewish qualities which G-d insisted that we recognize: that every human being is fashioned in the image of G-d, that we, the Children of Israel, are G-d's children, and that we are the bearers of His precious Torah." --- Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld "The Jewish Spark"  



"John Fuex" _Improving Software_
programmers: because of widespread age discrimination, get a plan B before you turn 40 (and preferably before you turn 35)

2009-05-19 06:11PDT (09:11EDT) (13:11GMT)
_Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
Preparations under way for Monday's Memorial Day

_Jihad Watch_
German interior minister: Country is "immediate target" of jihadists; domestic Islamic groups want Sharia in Germany

Alan Wall _V Dare_
Hispanic Triumphalism, Globalism In School Spanish Text-Books -- Courtesy of U.S. Tax-Victims
"Studying a foreign language is a valuable experience.   It would be good if more Americans studied foreign languages...   the term 'foreign languages' has been replaced in some circles by the PC term 'world languages'...   It's really impossible to teach a foreign language without teaching some culture.   In fact, the cultural aspect makes it more interesting and practical...   American students ought to understand the historical context of how the U.S.A. acquired the Southwest, so as not to fall prey to reconquista propaganda...   Not only is the Hispanicization of the United States pushed relentlessly, but so is globalism as well...   I've already felt the need to, shall we say, provide [my children] different perspectives to balance out some of the things they've been taught [in the public school].   As parents of public school students, we have to be on our guard—constantly.   We have to evaluate what our kids are being taught, what their text-books say, and what agendas their teachers are promoting.   That applies to academics, politics, moral issues, and the National Question."

Michelle Malkin _V Dare_
All the News That's Fit To Suppress
"Right on cue, the Times acknowledged this weekend that it had spiked a story on possible illegal coordination between left-wing activist groups ACORN and Project Vote and the Obama campaign just before Election Day.   The charges involved Team Obama sharing top campaign donor lists with ACORN's supposedly nonpartisan canvassing arm, Project Vote (the same group Obama worked for as a Chicago community organizer)."

Chuck Baldwin _V Dare_
The U.S. Government Has Become Patently Anti-Christian

Mike Shedlock _Global Economic Analysis_
Effect of Household DeLeveraging on Housing, Consumption and the Stock Market

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Obama's CTO pick Aneesh Chopra faces inquiries on off-shore out-sourcing contracts in VA
Network World

Meghan Quint _Seattle WA Post-Intelligencer_
Do you need a career coach?
"Another 33,600 Washington residents lost jobs in March, which means over 327K people in Washington are looking for work.   According to the Washington State Employment Situation Report, the state's unemployment rate is higher than it has been since 1985 June at 9.2%."

  "We had our nisayonos they have theirs.   We should not become the arbiter of which test belongs to a person." --- Rabbi Yissocher Frand "Every Generation Has Its Own Test"  

  "The National Academy of Sciences estimated that CAFE [Corporate Average Fuel Economy] standards kill about 2K people every year, along with between 13K & 26K additional incapacitating injuries and 97K to 195K additional overall injuries.   An analysis by _USA Today_/_Gannett_ found that CAFE killed an additional 46K people (and that was only through 1999). That is approximately the combined death toll of [the 2001-09-11 Mohammedan terrorist attacks plus] hurricane Katrina times 10.   Another study, by economists Robert Crandall of the [leftist] Brookings Institution and John Graham of the Harvard school of public health, also found that CAFE was likely responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.   They reported: «The negative relationship between weight and occupant fatality risk is one of the most secure findings in the safety literature.»" --- Glenn Beck, Kevin Balfe, Steve Burguiere, Dan Andros, Brian Sack, Alan Bura, Pat Gray, David Harsanyi, Carol Lynne, Carl Williott, Claire Calzonetti, Evan Cutler, Joseph Kerry, Kelly Thompson, R.J. Pestritto, Tyler Grimm, Darran Foster, John Bobey, Paul Starke & Paul E. Nunn 2009 _Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government_ pg109   (citing Stephen Power & Christopher Conkey 2009-05-19 "U.S. Orders Stricter Fuel Goals for Autos" https://online.wsj.com/article/SB124266939482331283.html     _AP_/_Boston Herald_ 2009-05-19 "AutoMakers, Obummer Announce Mileage, Pollution Plan" https://www.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view.bg?articleid=1173289     David Shepardson 2008-01-13 "New Fuel Rates Will Hike GM Vehicle Prices By an Average $6K" _Detroit News_     USA DoT NHTSA 2009 "Average Fuel Economy Standards: Passenger Cars & Light Trucks model years 2011-2015" pg586 https://keithhennessey.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/NHTSA_analysis.pdf     NAS Committee on Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Stanards 2002 pg26 https://books.nap.edu/html/cafe/ch2.pdf     _USA Today_/_Gannett_ 1999-08-07 "Are Lives Really an Acceptable Price or Fuel Efficiency"     Robert Crandall & John D. Graham 1989 April "The Effect of Fuel Economy Standards on Automobile Safety" _Journal of Law & Economics_ pg32     Ken Adleman 2002-01-17 "Road Regs: Wrongs that Don't Make Rights" _National Review_ https://www.NationalReview.com/comment/comment-adelman011702.html     Insurance Institute for HighWay Safety 2007 "Driver Deaths by Make and Model: Fatally Risk in One Vehicle Versus Another" status report 42 #4)  



2009-05-19 23:34PDT (2009-05-20 02:34EDT) (2009-05-20 06:34GMT)
People who believe they are "people persons" have more tissue in orbitofrontal cortex and ventral striatum
Richard Alleyne: London Telegraph
"The men who scored higher on questionnaire-based ratings of emotional warmth and sociability that asked for self-evaluations such as: 'I make a warm personal connection with most people' and 'I like to please other people as much as I can', had more grey matter in 2 brain areas -- the orbitofrontal cortex and ventral striatum. The researchers say it is not clear whether the men were born with these brain differences or whether the brain regions in question grew in response to personal experiences. Experts already know that the striatum becomes activated by receiving compliments and the orbitofrontal cortex is activated by attractive faces and smiling."

David Harris & Melissa Burden _Flint Journal_
Teens face tough summer job market
"The state forecasts 304,400 teens to be looking for work, but fewer than three-quarters of them (about 219,200) will actually find it.   In April, the national unemployment rate for teens 16 to 19 years old was 21.5%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics."

_Jihad Watch_
Four Muslims arrested in plot to bomb New York synagogues

David Weigel _Washington Independent_
Conservatives Poised to Fight "Islamist Lawfare": Support Sought in Congress, States for Tort Reform in Anti-Muslim Libel Cases
New Mexico Independent

_Economic Times of India_
Yahoo!, Google, MSFT still hiring in India while laying off in the USA
"The announcement came from its Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer amid the firm proceeding with 5K job cuts worldwide, including 55 employees in India.   The work-force reduction in the country would be completed in the next 18 months.   Few months ago, search engine giant Google unveiled plans of trimming as many as 200 jobs in sales and marketing operations worldwide.   Nonetheless, the firm is hiring for about 20 positions in engineering operations, finance and software engineering, among others.   Internet entity Yahoo! too would be slashing its employee strength as part of its efforts to bring down costs.   At the same time, the company has over 100 vacancies in India, according to its web site."

_V Dare_
A Displaced Illinois IT Worker Is Not Fooled By Intel's Diversity Advertisement

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
As financial problems are passed from fiscally unsound states to the central government, federalism is fading: Meanwhile, tax-victims flee

Maurna Desmond _Yahoo!_
Mass lay-offs hit some areas more than others in 2009: but then some areas may have employment structured in such a way as to be more likely to be covered
"colleagues were corralled into a conference room at Dell's Austin, Texas, head-quarters last November... Everyone in the room was fired, their jobs shipped over-seas...   there were 3,489 mass lay-offs in the first quarter of the year, eliminating 559K jobs.   These big pay-roll cuts accounted for more than a fourth of the 2.1M jobs lost during the period...   Detroit, where 57 mass lay-offs snuffed out 14,781 jobs in the first quarter of 2009...   Chicago runs a close second with 13,647 jobs erased in mass firings.   Construction-heavy Los Angeles, also hurt by the Golden State’s financial crisis, wiped out 10,594.   Finance-focused New York lost 8,688 during the first quarter of 2009.   Houston also made the list with 7,184 job losses; Dallas had 4,784.   Larger cities were bound to get singled out: They attract big corporations with big pay-rolls that require big cuts to make meaningful differences to their bottom lines.   At the state level, California had the most mass lay-offs with 115,014 workers let go, followed by Michigan with 46,817, Illinois with 41,887 and Texas with a more modest 33,005."

John Berman _abc_
College graduates face toughest job market in a decade of tough job markets

Lisa Friedman _Environmental & Energy News_
Red Chinese and US officials meet in secret to discuss climate
"In addition to Holdren, Loy and Chandler, the U.S. delegation included Taiya Smith, a top aide to former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson; Terry Tamminen, an environmental adviser to California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R); and Jim Green, an adviser to now-Vice President Joeseph Biden, who at the time led the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.   Mark Helmke, a top aide to Indiana senator Richard Lugar, the panel's ranking Republican, said he was invited but could not attend the meetings...   House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is planning a trip on climate issues, as is Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-MA).   A State Department spokesman yesterday said U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern is planning a [Red China] trip, possibly in June after the next meeting of the Major Economies Forum."

Toni Bowers _Tech Republic_/_Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
Off-shore operations open to liability in US courts

Dan Popp _Renew America_
triangulating health care: ObummerDoesn'tCare

  "And do not say cruel things to a stranger (v'ger lo soneh) [ger/ convert/ new-comer] nor oppress him, for you were strangers [converts/ new-comers] in the land of Egypt [Mitzrayim]." --- Shemos 22:20  



1881-05-21: American Red Cross founded by Clara Barton
1945-05-21: Humphrey Bogart married Lauren Bacall

2009-05-21 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 536,588 in the week ending May 16, a decrease of 33,824 from the previous week.   There were 319,694 initial claims in the comparable week in 2008.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.6% during the week ending May 9, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 6,189,434, a decrease of 2,110 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,847,329.   Extended benefits were available in AK, AZ, AR, CA, CT, DC, ID, IL, IN, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MT, NV, NJ, NC, OH, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, VT, WA, and WI during the week ending May 2.   [Note: The seasonal adjustment factors have been changed by DoL going back to at least the beginning of 2009.]"
more graphs

_Jihad Watch_
US Congress 1922 on Palestine: "Today it is a Jewish country"

Becky Shay _Billings MT Gazette_
High school students organize symposium aimed at improving education
"The 10 students in the class represent diverse interests and strengths and feed off of one another's ideas.   That fits well with the class model of following human nature's emphasis on curiosity and empathy, among other traits, to explore ideas and learn.   'The thread between classes is grades more than knowledge.', he said.   Abbey agreed, saying individual achievement based on grades often leads to more emphasis on memorization rather than on a developing a world view based on wide-ranging knowledge of topics and how they interrelate.   During class discussions, the students realized they are dissatisfied with the education system, not necessarily in Billings, but the national model."

2009-05-21 04:00PDT (07:00EDT) (11:00GMT)
Pam Baker _eCommerce Times_
The Battle for US Tech Jobs
"Executives at Synergroup Systems, an IT [body shop] formed in 1986, noticed that a lot of very good U.S.-based knowledge workers were being let go when off-shoring gained momentum around 2003...   'Even though we proved we could compete directly and everyone loved the concept, the IT executives were committed to going overseas no matter what.   These directives usually came from the highest levels.'...   now workers in India are considered too expensive, and the work is being shipped elsewhere...   'We're all stuck forever in growing poverty and a diminishing future until U.S. companies can learn to think longer-term.', he said...   U.S. workers have always been known for their innovation and independent streak."

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Will government securities' ratings be down-graded?

Jim Hightower
Ill-Begotten Monstrosities Taking US Tax Dollars while Saying A Dios to America

Brett Kelman _Guam Pacific Daily News_
Public Law 110-229 would replace immigration laws in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands with those of the federal government, restricting tourism from Russia and Red China and exempt Guam from the national cap on H-2B visas

  "Nobody may look at the progress of another as a hindrance to his own progress or look at the downfall of another as the means for his own rising and nobody may rejoice in his own progress if it is at the expense of his neighbor's failure…" --- R. Label Lam "The Shepherd's Shepherds"  



John Hilton _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
Farmers resist USDA ID system: USDA says they want all animals registered with a National Animal Identification System in order to track diseases, but burden falls more heavily on small farms than large
"The USDA recently released a study that said meatpackers may lose as much as $13.2G in exports in future years because of the lack of confidence among foreign trade partners in a less-than-comprehensive animal-ID system... At best, critics such as Hockley and Boyce say the NAIS system is needed to help regulate Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFOs), massive farming operations where hundreds of animals are likely to come and go in a year's time... The Government Accountability Office released a 2007 report stating that NAIS has flaws that might make it difficult to trace a sick animal back to its origins. The system failed to require the listing of an animal's species, date of birth, or approximate age, the GAO said."

2009-05-22 09:21PDT (12:21EDT) (16:21GMT)
Jason Scott _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
Recovery won't be particularly strong, with unemployment expected to remain high, according to second quarter survey of professional forecasters
"jobs will continue to be lost through 2010...   The forecasters predict that unemployment will increase from 9.1% this quarter to 9.8% in the first quarter of 2010.   Previously, unemployment was forecasted to rise from 8.3% to 9.0% over the same period.   Unemployment is expected to average 9.1% this year and rise to 9.6% in 2010.   The forecasters predict that annual-average unemployment will fall to 8.7% in 2011 and 7.7% in 2012.   On the jobs front, projected job losses in the current quarter are expected to be 521,500 per month.   Forecasters also see a reduction in jobs of 282,500 per month in the third quarter and 104,700 in the fourth quarter of 2009.   On an annual-average basis, jobs are expected to decline 422,600 per month in 2009 and 13,900 in 2010...   In March, the regional unemployment rate -- spanning Cumberland, Perry and Dauphin counties -- was 7%, with 20,600 people out of work.   Cumberland County had the fourth lowest rate in the state for the month at 6.6%."

Christopher S. Rugaber _Denver CO Post_/_AP_
Jobs likely to stay hard to get

Michael Downey _Numbers USA_
Faulty and Superficial Study From Immigration Lawyers Lobby

Lauren Covello _Fox_
Mass lay-offs decreased in April
"The number of mass lay-offs -- or lay-offs of 50 people or more by a single employer -- fell by 221 to 2,712 in April.   That number is down from 2,933 in March and 2,769 in February, but still more than double the number recorded in April of last year."

_Dollars & Sense_
Wells-Fargo's counter-stimulus strategy Roger Bybee's feature in our current issue shows how big corporations are taking the financial crisis and recession/depression as an opportunity to eliminate jobs in the United States.   ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel company, is trying to shut down 2 steel mills, one in Hennepin, IL, and one in Lackawanna, NY, despite the fact that the mills are profitable and have willing buyers."
Roger Bybee is the former editor of the union weekly Racine Labor and is now a consultant and free-lance writer whose work has appeared in Z Magazine, The Regessive, Extra!, The Regressive Populist, In These Times, communistdreams.org, and other national publications and web sites.   Visit his web page.

Scott Ott _Washington Examiner_
Obama declares Gitmo detainees to be "fetuses"

Armando Siahaan _Jakarta Globe_
Few jobs for the class of 2009 in the USA
"'I have applied to about 25 to 30 companies.', he said.   'So far, I haven’t had a single interview.'...   'Especially in my field [industrial engineering], there are not that many job postings.', he said...   A Bloomberg report dated 4 May stated that the US economy had lost more than 5.1M jobs since 2007 December and that the unemployment rate was expected to reach 8.9% by the end of May, the country's worst jobless level in 25 years...   'I applied for roughly 600 to 800 positions.', [TB] said.   'Out of those hundreds of jobs, I only got a total of 5 interviews.'"

_CT Day_
Lee Howard received Theodore Driscoll Award for Investigative Reporting on abuse of H-1B visas by Pfizer
CT Journal Inquirer
Hartford CT Courant

S&P 500887.00
10-year US T-Bond3.44%
crude oil$61.67/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Commodities" and "Metals" and "Currencies" columns.

  Shehakol Nehiah Bedevaro - Everything comes about through His speech.  



Charles S. Johnson _Billings MT Gazette_
former MT supreme court justice Jim Regnier chosen to chair 5-member redistricting commission
"Republicans have been highly critical of the court for the past decade for appointing a partisan Democrat, Jeanine Pease, to chair the redistricting commission.   They contended that the legislative districts for the past decade have been slanted to favor Democratic candidates.   Democrats disagreed, saying the redistricting plan after the 2000 census restored balance and fairness.   They maintained that the plan adopted after the 1990 census was stacked against Democrats, with Republicans controlling both legislative chambers in all but one session during the decade."

Walter Berns _Wall Street Journal_
Interrogations and Presidential Limits and Prerogatives

_CT Day_
Business writer Lee Howard has been honored with the Theodore Driscoll Investigative Reporting award by the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists for a series on Pfizer Inc.'s abuse of H-1B visas
"The judges said Howard 'was able to break through corporate silence to learn how and why Pfizer was utilizing H-1B visas to bring foreign workers to Connecticut to be trained by and replace American IT employees'.   Howard also received an honorable mention in general reporting, a second and honorable mention in business reporting, and a honorable mention in feature reporting."

Stuart Taylor _National Journal_
Identity Politics and Sotomayor

  "But it ought always to be held prominently in view that the safety of these States & of everything dear to a free people must depend in an eminent degree on the militia.   Invasions may be made too formidable to be resisted by any land & naval force which would comport either with the principles of our Gov't or the circumstances of the people, & in a manner to produce the best effect.   It is of the highest importance, therefore, that they be so organized & trained as to be prepared for any emergency." --- James Monroe 1817-03-04 (reprinted in Davis Newton Lott _The Presidents Speak: The Inaugural Address of the American Presidents from Washington to Kennedy_; quoted in Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pg 14)  



Lorna Thackeray _Billings MT Gazette_
Busby VietNam veteran, Thomas Rockroads, still suffering from PTSD, avoids reminders of war

Zach Benoit _Billings MT Gazette_
Park City tradition of setting up flags at cemetery before Memorial to honor veterans

  "Let me here call your attention to that part which gives the Congress power 'to provide for organizing, arming, & disciplining the militia, & for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the US -- reserving to the states, respectiely, the appointment of officers, & the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress'.   By this, sir, you see that their control over our last & best defence is unlimited.   If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless; the states can do neither -- this power being exclusively given to Congress...   Will the oppressor let go the oppressed?   Was there ever an instance?   Can the annals of mankind exhibit 1 single example where rulers over-charged with power willingly let go the oppressed, though solicited & requested most earnestly?...   Sometimes, the oppressed have got loose by 1 of those bloody struggles that desolate a country; but a willing relinquishment of power is 1 of those things which human nature never was, nor ever will be, capable of." --- Patrick Henry (quoted in Jonathan Elliot _The debates of the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution_ 1888 edition vol 3 pp 51-52; Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pp 40-41)  


2009-05-25: Memorial Day

Tom Lutey _Billings MT Gazette_
Shortage of skilled buglers for memorial services

Rob Chaney _Billings MT Gazette_
Wild west sheriff finally gets memorial stone
"The lawman who gunned down a notorious train-robbing gang and kept order in the Middle Fork Flathead's railroad camps left a big mark in his family's memory, but little for the rest of the world to grasp...   John Fraley chronicled Joseph Gangner's life in _Wild River Pioneers_, a book of characters so larger than life that Gangner had to outdo Rooster Cogburn to be included...   Gangner was wearing the badge there in 1893 when Jack 'The Dude Cowboy' Chipman and 3 cohorts robbed a train along the Yellowstone River and eluded a federal marshal and a posse of 40 pursuers in a 400-mile chase.   Cops and robbers finally crossed paths in the near-ghost town of McCarthyville, east of Marias Pass...   Gangner's first wife, Eliza, died in a cabin fire.   He married a woman from the Flathead Indian Reservation, Mary Pauline, and lived with her until cirrhosis of the liver overtook him.   Gangner was 65 when he died on 1927 Feb. 4."

Raushan Nurshayeva & Olzhas Auyezov _Manchester Guardian_/_Reuters_
Kazakhstan pins hope on aid package: Arcelor-Mittal pushing for pay cuts
"A number of Kazakh metals producers have complained about losses, including the local unit of ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel-maker, which said last week it would have to halt operations unless workers agree to pay cuts.   ArcelorMittal, which employs 46K workers in Kazakhstan, said the local unit had lost $100M in the first quarter due to the drop in demand for steel."

_Steel Guru_
ArcelorMittal shutting down coke plants in Eastern Europe, while Romania asks for new coke chemical plant
"The institution also said that 'If the buyer commits to invest in a new coke chemical plant of a higher technological level, AVAS will support any process to reduce costs and to streamline the activity of the plant.'   ArcelorMittal Galaţi management announced in April that it intended to shut down the 3 coke batteries, on technical and economic reasons and to import coke from another plant of the group, from Poland."

Richard Gaines _Gloucester MA Times_
Obama admin makes power-play for shift in control of fishing industry, with funding from quasi-private foundations for Dept. of Commerce operations
"The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation could easily be confused with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a relatively static agency of the Department of Interior that tries to keep order in the freshwater wilds...   It was created by Congress in 1984 and now functions as a 501(c)3 philanthropy.   It juggles federal grants, a multi-million dollar lobbying budget, relatively small gifts from individuals, and the strategic, budgeted altruism of some of the most powerful and willful foundations and corporations, beginning with Arcelormittal, the world's largest steel company, based in Luxemburg.   Also featured is Anheuser-Busch, Bank of America, Dupont and the Bechtel Corporation's foundation.   But the main group of partners of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is the Big Oil family -- with BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil and Shell.   Absent from the list is Sunoco, but the influence of the Sun Oil Co. is ubiquitous in the assemblage of forces that is reinventing the fishing industry through its own philanthropy -- the Pew Charitable Trusts -- and its reigning star, [newly-appointed NOAA director] Jane Lubchenco...   there is a hidden agenda in the decision to replace the effort control system with catch shares, a business model that morphs logically into a market where fishing rights can be bought and sold."

  "Where are your checks in this gov't?   Your strong-holds will be in the hands of your enemies.   It is on a supposition that your American governors shall be honest, that all the good qualities of this gov't are founded; but its defective & imperfect construction puts it in their power to perpetrate the worst of mischiefs, should they be bad men; &, sir, would not all the world, from the eastern to the western hemisphere, blame our distracted folly in resting our rights upon the contingency of our rulers being good or bad?   Show me that age & country where the rights & liberties of the people were placed on the solid chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty!   I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed, with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt." --- Patrick Henry (quoted in Jonathan Elliot _The debates of the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution_ 1888 edition vol 3 pp 59-60; Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pg 41)  



1907-05-26: Marion Robert Morrison (John Wayne) born in Winterset, IA
1940-05-26: evacuation of Dunkirk, France began

Guillaume Cerquant _CocoaHeads_
CocoaHeads Paris #3 - May 27th (Tomorrow) 19:00
"A quick note to let you know that the third session of CocoaHeads Paris will meet demain soir (mercredi, mai 27th, at 19:00).   Presentations will be: * FScript, by its creator, Philippe Mougin. &nsp; * Osculator, software for making sound and vision with new controllers.   All details.   Subscribe to Paris CocoaHeads Group for being notified of future events.   See you tomorrow."

Joseph Cress _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
Thousands turned out for local Memorial Day celebrations

Barbara Phillips Long _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
AP students from Shippensburg HS test drive new Wilson college science labs

Jason Scott _Cumberland county PA Sentinel_
students renovate replica of John Harris trading post cabin on the East side of the Susquehanna

2009-05-26 07:02PDT (10:02EDT) (14:02GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Home prices fell 19.1% in past year
"On a month-to-month basis, prices in 20 selected cities fell 2.2% in March and were down 18.7% in the past year...   From the peak, home prices are down 32.2%, and on average are at the same level they were at in late 2002.   From their peak, prices are down more than 50% in Las Vegas and Phoenix...   Phoenix, down 36%; Las Vegas, down 31.2%; San Francisco, down 30.1%; Miami, down 28.7%; Detroit, down 25.7%; Minneapolis, down 23.3%; Tampa, down 22.4%; Los Angeles, down 22.3%; San Diego, down 22%; Chicago, down 18.6%:Washington, down 18.4%; Seattle, down 16.4%; Atlanta, down 15.7%; Portland, down 15.3%; New York, down 11.8%; Charlotte, down 9.3%; Cleveland, down 9%; Boston, down 8%; Dallas, down 5.6%; and Denver, down 5.5%."

2009-05-26 09:59PDT (12:59EDT) (16:59GMT)
Irwin Kellner _MarketWatch_
Mr. President, show me the money: Excessive amounts appropriated, little reaching US citizens

2009-05-26 10:22PDT (13:22EDT) (17:22GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
Conference Board's consumer confidence index up
Conference Board

_24/7 Wall Street_
Making steel just got cheaper
"UK-based miner Rio Tinto plc has announced a pricing agreement with Japan’s Nippon Steel for iron ore for the contract year beginning 2009 April 1.   The new prices are about 33% below last year's contract...   Rio's latest operations report noted that iron ore production was down 15% in the first quarter of 2009...   ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel-maker, cut production by 50% in the first half of 2009, but expects an annual drop of [only] 15%-20% in demand for steel in 2009."

Sarah O'Connor _Financial Times of London_/_Truth About Trade & Technology_
Executives and foreign governments pressuring US government to further weaken Buy American provisions: Aim to hurt US and European production workers
Metal Miner
Pejman Yousefzadeh: New Ledger
"The measures, which were in the $787G US stimulus bill, require any project funded with stimulus money to use only US-made steel, iron and manufactured goods...   More than a third of the stimulus money is being disbursed by states and local authorities, which are not party to free trade accords such as the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA]... Pennsylvania-based steel company Duferco Farrell [a Swiss-Russian partnership that had taken over a bankrupt steel plant with 600 employees] has warned it might lay off 600 workers after its biggest client said it would cancel orders because Duferco's goods, some of which have to be partly produced abroad, were not Buy American compliant."

Rush Limbaugh
The Way To Win Hispanic Votes

Jane Porter _Wall Street Journal_
candidates are gearing down their resumes by hiding advanced degrees, changing too-lofty titles, shortening work experience descriptions, and removing awards and accolades
"She was fearful her application would be weeded out by the web search-optimization tools [resume parsers] companies use to manage resumes."

Cathy Knightlinger _Indianapolis IN Star_
"Well done" to the 93rd Indianapolis 500: Helio Castroneves won by 1.9819 seconds averaging 150.318 miles per hour and peak speeds over 220 miles per hour
Indy Channel 6
USA Today/Gannett
Racing Nation
Fort Wayne In News-Sentinel
Every Day Christian

  "Choice is not the mystery people make it out to be.   Parents know the best schools in the district.   Kids in a school know who the best teachers are.   It's we professionals who make it seem like you need a Harvard doctorate to figure out whether this is a good school or not." --- Seymour Fliegel  



1703-05-27: tsar Peter the great founded St. Petersburg
1930-05-27: Richard Gurley Drew invented Scotch Tape
1937-05-27: Golden Gate bridge opened to foot-traffic

2009-05-26 17:44PDT (2009-05-26 20:44EDT) (2009-05-27 00:44GMT)
Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
In USA H-1B workers out-number unemployed US STEM workers: Fraud case raises questions about visa program
IT World
Network World
Wisconsin Technology Network
"The government's interest in H-1B fraud-related unemployment turned up in court filings in a case in U.S. District Court in Iowa against a New Jersey IT firm, Visions Systems Group in South Plainfield, NJ, which was indicted in February on visa-related fraud charges.   Visions Systems was included in a sweep that led to arrests of some 11 people in 6 states.   The government, in announcing its action, said the companies and people involved were 'displacing qualified American workers', but didn't identify how many.   In court papers filed last month, the U.S. [government] indicated it may be getting ready to do just that... 'in January of 2009, the total number of workers employed in the information technology occupation under the H-1B program substantially exceeded the 241K unemployed U.S. citizen workers within the same occupation.'"

Knute Berger _New West Development_
Does "Smart Growth" Also Create More Sprawl?: Urban density is supposed to constrain sprawl, but a new analysis suggests that vital, dense cities produce bigger suburbs too

Burt Prelutsky _World Net Daily_
Dr. Frankenstein, meet Barack Obama
"they did next to nothing to close the border, and Bush shamelessly pandered to Vicente Fox...   Bush showed that even a Republican president didn't have to take a back-seat to anyone when it came to expanding the federal government"

2009-05-27 07:57PDT (10:57EDT) (14:57GMT)
Sue Shellenbarger _Wall Street Journal_
Taking the SAT tests again
"I bombed on my first practice test in math, scoring one-third below my 1967 score, but I was able to close most of the gap by cramming for 6 weeks.   On the actual test, I brought my math score back to 600 on an 800-point scale, just 6.25% below my score as a teenager [about 640].   On other parts of the test, I did about the same as I did as a teenager.   The College Board, which oversees the SAT, says the test isn't any more difficult today than it was in 1967; it still measures skills students are using in the high-school class-room."

Brad Heath _USA Today_/_Gannett_
Stimulus projects bypass hard-hit states
"In Michigan, for example federal agencies have spent about $2M on stimulus contracts, or 21 cents per person.   In Oregon, where unemployment is almost as high, they have spent $2.12 per capita, far less than the nationwide average of nearly $13...   Overall, however, the economy shed more than 1.2M jobs in March and April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics...   Even so, the first contracts have amounted to only about $7.42 per person on average in the 8 states with unemployment rates higher than 10% last month.   By comparison, government records show it has awarded about $26 worth of contracts per person in North Dakota, whose unemployment rate is the nation's lowest."

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
My Sentiments Exactly WRT Lack of Even-Handedness in GM Proposals
Dennis Buchholtz: Wall Street Journal: GM Bond-Holders Are People Like You and Me: The government is punishing one group of workers to reward another

Thomas Sowell _Norwich Bulletin_
Reckless decisions endanger America

Thomas Sowell _Redding_
How did "stimulus" work for Germany? and other thoughts on current events
Abilene KS Reporter News
Human Events
National Review
Patriot Post

Thomas Sowell _Phoenixville PA Phoenix_
What you see is not really what occurs
Pittsburgh PA Tribune-Review
Washington Times
Human Events
St. Augustine FL Record
Detroit MI News
Louisville KY Courier-Journal
"What you see in politics is what politicians want you to see.   You believe it at your own risk -- and at greater risks to the country.   Televised congressional hearings are not just broadcasts of what happens to be going on in Congress.   They are staged events to create a prepackaged impression.   Politically, they are millions of dollars' worth of free advertising for incumbents, while campaign finance laws impede their challengers from being able even to buy name recognition or to present their cases to the public nearly as often.   The real work of Congress gets done where there are no cameras and no microphones -- and where politicians can talk turkey with one another to make deals that could not be made with the public listening in."

Cathy Shive _CocoaHeads_
[MEET] Amsterdam CocoaHeads tonight!
The Amsterdam chapter of CocoaHeads is meeting tonight, May 27, from 19:00-21:00.   Please join us if you can make it.   Tonight's speaker is Klass Pierter Annema, who will talk about the iPhone app he's been developing for Sofa.   More info.   Hope to see you there!

Thomas A. Bowden _Ayn Rand Institute_
Sotomayor is unqualified to be on the US supreme court

  "People who are difficult to supervise and free to leave, people who think for themselves, who question authority are a leader's best source of information and only hope for achieving organizational goals." --- John Naisbitt & Patricia Aburdeen  



2009-05-28 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 536,733 in the week ending May 23, a decrease of 4,192 from the previous week.   There were 326,518 initial claims in the comparable week in 2008.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.6% during the week ending May 16, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 6,191,044, a decrease of 12,619 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,807,628.   Extended benefits were available in AK, AZ, AR, CA, CT, DC, GA, ID, IL, IN, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MT, NV, NJ, NC, OH, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, VT, VA, WA, and WI during the week ending May 9.   [Note: The seasonal adjustment factors have been changed by DoL going back to at least the beginning of 2009.]"
more graphs

John Waggoner _USA Today_/_Gannett_
Federal extortionists' take is down as tax-victims income falls
"Federal [extortion] revenue plunged $138G, or 34%, in April vs. a year ago -- the biggest April drop since 1981, a study released Tuesday by the American Institute for Economic Research says...   For example, 6M people lost jobs in the 12 months ended in April -- and that means far fewer dollars from income [extortion].   Income [extortion] revenue dropped 44% from a year ago."

_CIC News_
Canada narrows the immigration door

Michael Zuckerman _Syracuse Post-Standard_
"Stimulus" money going over-seas
"You might be surprised to learn that state governments may be using federal stimulus dollars on off-shore contracting.   That's right -- states may spend billions of the $787G stimulus package approved in February to 'stimulate' the economies of India, Mexico, Poland or [Red China], rather than Main Street USA...   When a state uses federal money to upgrade computer systems, for example, it hires contractors, employs workers and buys materials.   The state not only receives a new computer system, but reaps the downstream benefit of those contractors, workers and material providers spending money in the local economy and growing their business. But the stimulus effect is virtually lost on state projects shipped over-seas."

Brian Sommer _Ziff Davis_/_CNET_/_CBS_
Bad time to be accused of H-1B visa fraud: Would your firm want this kind of publicity?

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Little Watermelon Men: Reds pushing phantom "green" jobs

Walter E. Williams _Cybercast News Service_
The Housing Boom and Bust
Laurel MS Leader-Call
Lancaster Eagle Gazette
Richmond KY Register
Capitalism Magazine
Brian Doherty: Reason
Town Hall
Patriot Post
Deseret News
Mark Lardas: Galveston county TX Daily News
Springfield IL State Journal-Register
Newport News VA Daily Press/McClatchy-Tribune

  "It is not only [the juror's] right, but his duty to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgement and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court." --- John Adams 1771  



1736-05-29: Patrick Henry born in Studley, VA
1787-05-29: Virginia Plan introduced

Jim Hightower _Texas Observer_
Off-Shoring Ill-Begotten Monstrosities
"The corporation is chopping another 5K jobs in New York state, apparently sending the work abroad.   IBM seems blind to the injury this causes in its own community.   Injury turned to insult when the community learned that the company took $45M from state [tax-victims] last summer in exchange for a promise to keep jobs in New York.   The double cross caused an uproar, but IBM's top executives are tone-deaf to public sentiment.   In March, even as IBM lobbied for a chunk of federal stimulus money, the company submitted a patent application for a computer system to help corporations send more jobs over-seas."

2009-05-29 07:50PDT (10:50EDT) (14:50GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
GDP revised to 5.7% decline in 2009Q1

Sher Zieve _Renew America_
Is Obama expanding his criminal enterprises? (with additional links)

Byron York _Laurel MS Leader-Call_
why the GOP will defeat Obama on health-care: ObummerDoesn'tCare

Robert Blumen _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
Fed cannot withdraw the money
"The crisis is about establishing market prices for assets that were mis-priced by credit expansion.   The nature of the unsustainable boom is that relative prices of certain assets -- houses, mortgage backed securities, and all of the mystery meat that came out of the Wall Street meat grinder -- became artificially high.   These price distortion caused resource misallocations: too many mortgage brokers, too many home builders, too many real estate agents, and too many houses.   The prices of these assets were unsustainable in the sense that they do not reflect the balance between the scarcity of savings and consumer preferences."

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Bond Investment Guru Bill Gross Predicts Dollar to Lose International Reserve Status

Chuck Baldwin _Renew America_
"Must watch" immigration videos

Walter E. Williams _Harrisonburg VA Daily News-Record_
Supreme Court Justices Must Be Impartial Referees
Lancaster Eagle Gazette

Thomas Sowell _Inside Bay Area_
Sotomayor's "empathy" is incompatible with "equal justice under law"
Washington Times
National Review
One News Now
Town Hall
Patriot Post
Philadelphia Bulletin
Greensboro NC News & Record

2009-05-29 (5769 Sivan 06)
Thomas Sowell _Town Hall_
Edmund Burke and Barack Obama
Post Chronicle
Capitalism Magazine
Patriot Post
Human Events
Jewish World Review

S&P 500919.14
10-year US T-Bond3.50%
crude oil$66.20/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Commodities" and "Metals" and "Currencies" columns.

  "You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." --- Charles A. Beard  



Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Federal Reserve has no means to prevent leap in inflation

_Billings MT Gazette_/_AP_
Montana regents raise tuition 3% at main state campuses: Smaller campuses, including MSU Billings, won't see hikes but will get other funds
"Non-resident tuition and fees will also increase at most of the state's schools."

Louise Radnofsky & T.W. Farnam _Wall Street Journal_
Congressional Expense Accounts

  "I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size.   I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom.   My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them.   It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden.   I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible.   And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' 'interests', I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can." --- Barry Goldwater _Conscience of a Conservative_ jacket  



Robert Alt _Billings MT Gazette_
Senators must contest Sotomayor's biases

2009-05-31 01:23PDT (04:23EDT) (08:23GMT)
Shaheen Samavati _Cleveland OH Plain Dealer_
Recent college graduates finding entry-level jobs hard to get and hard to keep

Teresa Watanabe _Los Angeles Times_
Lobbyists for illegal aliens push for corruption of US census... and for amnesty

Jack Ganssle _Industrial Control DesignLine_
As the world turns: recession and engineering: There will always be artists and there will always be engineers. In troubling times, passion counts more than ever
"As of 2009, engineers are no longer part of companies' survival strategy; they're cost centers that are getting trimmed along with everything else."

_Open Congress_
Status of S877

  "But there is another check, founded in the nature of the Union, superior to all the parchment checks that can be invented.   If there should be a usurpation, it will not be on the farmer & merchant, employed & attentive only to their several occupations; it will be upon 13 legislatures, completely organized, possessed of the confidence of the people, & having the means, as well as inclination, successfully to oppose it.   Under these circumstances, none but madmen would attempt a usurpation.   But, sir, the people themselves have it in their power effectually to resist usurpation, without being driven to an appeal to arms.   An act of usurpation is not obligatory; it is not law; & any man may be justified in his resistance.   Let him be considered as a criminal by the general [federal] gov't, yet only his fellow-citizens can convict him; they are his jury, & if they pronounce him innocent, not all the powers of Congress can hurt him; & innocent they certainly willl pronounce him, if the supposed law he resisted was an act of usurpation." --- Theophilus Parsons (quoted in John P. Kaminski & Gaspare J. Saladino 1984 _The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution_ 1888 edition vol 5 pg 465; quoted in Clayton E. Cramer 1994 _For the Defense of Themselves & the State_ pg 36)  

  "When the vestiture of extensive internal powers in the federal legislature gave a general alarm to the people of the US, the best advocates for its adoption, and such as were most active in its formation, declared that those powers would not be exercised, except in the last resort, and that particularly the powers of levying internal excises could only be practicable when every other resource failed, and when pressing danger would, by producing conviction of the necessity of the measure, insure its success." --- National Gazette, 1792-05-21  


Proposed Bills 2009

Congressional candidate fund-raising, expenditures, and debt
  "More S&P 500 CEOs obtained their under-graduate degrees in engineering than in any other field." --- Titus Galama, James Hosek, Sloan Fader, Lindsay Daughterty, Meg Blume-Kohout et al. 2006-11-08 "Conference Proceedings: Perspectives on US Competitiveness in Science and Technology" pg 31 (citing Spencer Stuart 2005 "2004 CEO Study: A Statistical Snapshot of Leading CEOs")  

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