2011 January

1st month of the 1st quarter of the 22nd year of the Bush-Clinton-Shrub-Obummer economic depression

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updated: 2019-01-08

  "new kind of servitude [when] after having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp, and fashioned him at will, the supreme [government] power then extends its arm over the whole community.   It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate to rise above the crowd.   The will of man is not shattered by softened, bent and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting.   Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not [openly] tyrranize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrial animals, of which government is the shepherd.   I have always thought that servitude of the regular, quiet, and gentle kind which I have just described might be combined more easily than is commonly believed with some of the outward forms of freedoma dn that it might even establish itself under the wing of the sovereignty of the people." --- Alexis de Tocqueville _Democracy in America_ part2 book4 chapter6 (quoted in Friedrich A. Hayek 1944, 1963 _The Road to Serfdom_ pg xvi (forward))  

2011 January
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  "[T]he same people who use drugs also steal cars, commit burglaries, assault & rob others & drive recklessly...   The versatility of offenders goes beyond conventional crime categories to include alcohol abuse, spouse & child abuse, accidents, truancy from school & work, & sexual promiscuity.   Research repeatedly shows that these behaviors are consistently found together in the same people." --- Michael Gottfredson & Travis Hirschi _A General Theory of Crime_ (quoted in James Dale Davidson & William Rees-Mogg 1994 _The Great Reckoning_ pg 308)  




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

2011 January

1st month of the 1st quarter of the 12th year of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama economic depression


CocoaHeads: CocoaHeads is a group devoted to discussion of Apple Computer's Cocoa Framework for programming on MacOS X (including the iPhone).   During monthly meetings, members make presentations about their projects and offer tutorials on various programming topics.


2011-01-01 12:08PST (15:08EST) (20:08GMT)
Conor O'Clery _Global Post_
Snow-bound Ireland faces water shortage as freezing and thawing has broken pipes
"600K gallons of emergency drinking water arrived in Belfast Thursday from Scotland to help cope with a drought that has hit both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.   Ironically, the water shortage comes after deep accumulations of snow melted during 2 days of torrential rain after Christmas that flooded roads and swelled rivers."

Hiawatha Bray _Boston MA Globe_
Thousands of H-1B visas remain

Judson Berger _Fox_
USCIS easing off on attestations meant to block illegal transfer intellectual property off-shore
"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, in pushing the new requirement, is effectively trying to enforce a law that's been on the books for years.   Under the 'export control' law, employers are prohibited from sharing certain technological data with foreign workers they bring on board without a license from the federal government.   It's not a literal export of, say, automobiles or raw sugar.   But the government considers it an export all the same, since a foreign worker could look at blueprints or some other technical plan in the United States and then 'export' it to his or her country by simply returning home and replicating it...   Software companies, aerospace companies and other high-tech firms could easily fall under the regulations -- pretty much anybody in the manufacturing and engineering industries.   An employer failing to follow them could face fines or imprisonment...   seemingly innocuous information could be used for military purposes by a foreign country."

Hugh Holub _Tucson AZ Citizen_
Out of frustration more states stepping up watch for illegal aliens

Proposed Bills 2011

  "'to take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition'.   The incorporation of a bank had not been delegated to the United States by the Constitution.   He first examined the specially enumerated powers of congress, particularly the powers to tax, to borrow money, and to regulate commerce, and concluded that the chartering of a bank was not included among any of the enumerations.   He then considered the general phrase of the Constitution that identified the purpose of the taxing power as 'to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general welfare of the United States'.   Congress, he said, was to levy taxes only for these purposes, not for any purpose they pleased.   'In like manner they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose.' To interpret this provision in any other way would reduce the Constitution to 'a single phrase, that of instituting a congess with power to do whatever would be for the good of the U.S. and as they would be the sole judges of good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they pleased.'   Jefferson next turned to the constitutional provision giving congress the authority to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution its enumerated powers...   A bank was not necessary fo congress to carry into execution any of its enumerated powers and therefore was not authorized by the Constitution.   It mattered not how useful or convenient a bank might be in collecting taxes or borrowing money; congress was restricted to only that which was necessary.   Otherwise there was nothing 'which ingenuity may not torture into a convenience, in some way or other, to some one of so long a list of enumerated powers.'" --- Noble E. Cunningham 1987 _In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson_ pg165 (citing Thomas Jefferson 1791-02-15 in Julian Boyd _Papers of Jefferson_ vol19 pp275-277)  



Jeanne Starmack _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
9th grader to compete in national academic-games tournament
"The six academic games, provided by the AGLoA [Academic Games Leagues of America], are LinguiSHTIK, On-SETS, Propaganda, Equations, Presidents and World Events...   6 local tournaments at Slippery Rock University.   There also is a regional competition in March at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA."

2011-01-02 09:18PST (12:18EST) (17:18GMT)
Francine Knowles _Chicago IL Sun-Times_
Recession, inflation, dysfunctional job markets make for uneasy waiting game
"The state lost 371,300 jobs since the recession began in 2007 December.   It added 54,700 jobs through November in 2010, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.   IHS Global Insight forecasts the state will add 58,600 jobs this year, 98,700 in 2012 and 131,200 in 2013.   Some 133,300 jobs are forecast to be added in 2014, which would put the state past the number of jobs lost during the recession...   Geoffrey Hewings, director of the University of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory... expects the Illinois unemployment rate to average between 9% and 10% this year.   IHS Global Insight forecasts it will decline to an average 10% in 2011 from the 10.5% rate it averaged last year through November.   By 2015, the rate is forecast to be down to an average 8.1%.   Moody's expects the rate to reach 5.1% in 2015, which would put it at a pre-recession level, but forecasts it will rise this year to 10.9%."

_Illinois Work Net_
Middle Class jobs being hit hard by out-sourcing and off-shoring
"According to MIT economist David Autor, 'middle class' jobs are now more easily out-sourced and automated.   There is growing concern that the middle class could disappear.   Autor explains that many middle class jobs; can be done successfully by either a computer running a program or... by a comparatively less-educated worker in a developing country'."

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_/_V Dare_
H-1B visas
"As the fiscal year draws to a close employers are scrambling for the last few H-1B visas [described in 8 USC 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)] available before the yearly cap is reached.   As of 2010 mid-December, there were 53,900 applications filed, meaning that there are only slightly more than [the de facto 56K] visas remaining for [fiscal year 2010-2011]...   So, if Grimmer is to be believed, a company named Articulate Communications couldn't find a single person in the United States that had the skills they needed in marketing and PR.   They had no choice but to hire somebody from Turkey.   Unfortunately companies can get away with this kind of sleazy behavior because H-1B doesn't mandate that qualified Americans must be given first consideration for the jobs...   'Grimmer says it's not really as bad as you might think...   ''it turned out to be fairly straightforward and simple''...   companies can expect to pay upwards of $2,700 plus legal fees for each application -- something that can sometimes give entrepreneurs sticker shock since companies are expected to foot the bill.   But, there can be room for [border-line or illegal] negotiation sometimes, where the company and the applicant agree to split some of the legal costs' [which regulation 20 CFR 655.731(c)(10)(ii) seems to prohibit]...   There are hazy areas in the regulations -- like for instance employers might be able to stick the H-1B applicant with attorney fees or other costs that are not explicitly spelled out in the regulations.   Sometimes employers get in trouble for imposing the costs on employees..."

Jeffrey R. Young _Chronicle of Higher Education_
6 top smart-phone apps to improve teaching, research, life

_Gulen Charter Schools USA web log_
web of Gülen (Guelen) movement charter schools confirmed
More on Sonoran Science Academy and the Gülen (Guelen) movement
Bill Gates is funding the Gülen (Guelen) movement to restore the Ottoman empire
Gülen (Guelen) movement engulfing Lone Star State
Gülen (Guelen) schools and their many aliases and booming H-1B visa applications
Tanya Hutchins: NBC 4i: Gülen (Guelen) "Concept" charter schools under scrutiny in Ohio
Gülen (Guelen) schools importing English teachers from Turkey
web log on Magnolia Science Academy
Gülen (Guelen) charter schools USA web log
Charter school scandals web log
Charter school watch-dog web log

Jim Elvin _OR Statesman Journal_
Politicians are failing to control immigration

Odom & Dylan Tussel _Ohio State University Lantern_
State budget deficit may result in tuition increase
"Under governor Ted Strickland, OSU received $394M a year in the form of state funding, including $60M per year in stimulus money the past 2 years...   After the state-imposed three-year freeze on public universities' tuition ended, OSU tuition rose 3.5% in 2010 Summer Quarter and an additional 3.5% for the 2010-2011 academic year, totaling $9,420 for in-state tuition and $23,604 for out-of-state tuition.   OSU withheld 1% of each college's budget, totaling $9.3M in 2010 July, and will withhold another $9.3M in July in anticipation of the stimulus money not being renewed, Chatas said...   The University of Cincinnati is preparing for a budget decrease of up to 25%, which would require a tuition increase, said Jim Plummer, the school's vice president of finance.   Cincinnati is anticipating a $28.5M decrease, effective 2012 July, Plummer said...   In May, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved an annual 9.5% tuition increase for 4 years.   California State University implemented a 2-step plan for tuition increase, with a 10% increase effective Jan. 1, and an another 5% in 2011 Fall."

William L. Anderson
Krugman's death panels for the economy
"he seems to believe that we are not digging fast enough, and that [deeper] digging will get us out of the hole."

Proposed Bills 2011

  "You may think that the Constitution is your security -- it is nothing but a piece of paper.   You may think that the statutes are your security -- they are nothing but words in a book.   You may think that elaborate mechanism of government is your security -- it is nothing at all unless you have sound and uncorrupted public opinion to give life to your Constitution, to give vitality to your statutes, to make efficient your machinery." --- Charles Evans Hughes  



Dice Report: 68,026 job ads

body shop29,476
full-time temp42,954
part-time temp1,378


_Wall Street Journal_
EPAs deluded war on Texas

_Youngstown OH Vindicator_/_AP_
Development of test to detect cancer moving forward
"Boston scientists who invented the test and health-care giant Johnson & Johnson will announce today that they are joining forces to bring it to market.   Four big cancer centers also will start studies using the experimental test this year.   Stray cancer cells in the blood mean that a tumor has spread or is likely to, many doctors believe.   A test that can capture such cells has the potential to transform care for many types of cancer, especially breast, prostate, colon and lung."

2011-01-03 05:46PST (08:46EST) (13:46GMT)
Christopher S. Rugaber _Knoxville TN News Sentinel_
US factory orders up in December for 17th straight month
Sara Murray & Justin Lahart: Wall Street Journal
Jeffry Bartash; MarketWatch

_Central CA Valley Business Times_
Job seekers frustrated, uncertain about job prospects
Kansas City Business Journal

W. James Antle iii _American Spectator_
Here Comes Trouble: the hysterical manias of the left vs. the US constitution, individual rights, and respect
"As we sadly learned with all the sound and fury that attended the Republican Revolution of 1994, the real risk isn't that a tidal wave of right-wing [extremity] will wash over the land.   The greater likelihood is that the GOP rebels will quickly lose their reformist spirit after a few fizzled confrontations with the bipartisan Beltway establishment and end up governing much like the Democrats they replaced."

Paul Davis _Providence RI Journal_
Economic hardship takes personal toll

Victor Davis Hanson _Orange County CA Register_
comparing Greece and California

Mark Vogl _Nolan Chart_
Foreign ownership of much of America, flood of illegal aliens, US dependency

Andrew Nusca _SmartPlanet_/_Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
"Upper class" less capable at reading emotions
"Previous research has indicated that lower-class folks have developed more effective social skills because they need to rely on others to meet needs or accomplish goals.   Conversely, upper-class folks aren't equipped to pick up on emotional nuance, and aren't as sympathetic to the plights of others.   The inference, of course: those that fulfill the 'American Dream' of rising from rags to riches (or vice versa) may have the means, psychologically and financially, to sympathize with the other class."

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
The US constitution is not an ink-blot, nor does it evolve, but it can be amended
the USA's timeless constitution
"The problem is a corrupt worldview that has as its foundational principle the notion that government can grow ever bigger through what is essentially mob rule.   It has no room for standards that can't be violated by a law-making majority and refuses to accept any checks on its ambitions."

_Wheeling WV Intelligencer_
Don't Just Deport Criminal Aliens Because They Return
"In Ohio alone, prosecutors in Columbus last year charged more than 100 illegal immigrants with returning to the United States after being deported.   Some were sent home after committing serious crimes."

Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar _Washington DC Post_
Analysis shows that Medicare extortions don't cover benefits
"Consider an average-wage two-earner couple together earning $89K a year.   Upon retiring in 2011, they would have paid $114K in Medicare pay-roll [extortions] during their careers.   But they can expect to receive medical services -- including prescriptions and hospital care -- worth $355K, or about 3 times what they put in...   By comparison, [Socialist Insecurity extortions] and expected benefits come closer to balancing out.   The same hypothetical couple retiring in 2011 will have paid $614K in [Socialist Insecurity extortions], and can expect to collect $555K in benefits.   They will have paid about 10% more into the system than they are likely to get back...   Peel back the layers, and there are several reasons Medicare benefits and taxes are so out of line.   First is the rapid rise in health-care costs [driven in part by the existence of Medicare and Medicaid].   A single woman who retired in 1980, after earning average wages throughout her career, could expect to receive medical care worth about $74,800 over the rest of her lifetime.   A comparable woman retiring in 2010 can expect services worth $181K.   Those numbers are in 2010 dollars, adjusted for inflation so they can be compared directly."

2011-01-03 (5771 Tebeth 27)
_Jewish World Review_
After Church bombing, Coptic Christians in Egypt refuse to surrender, even as deadly reality grows more grim

Proposed Bills 2011

  "Lenin's real attitude to humanity, except in the abstract, is well illustrated by his comment on the 1891-1892 famine in Russia, when students and others threw themselves into relief work, that 'psychologically, this talk of feeding the starving mases is nothing but the expression of saccharine-sweet sentimentality characteritic of the intelligentsia'.   Maxim Gorky was to note that 'Lenin has no pity for hte mass of the people', and even that 'the working class are to Lenin what minerals are to a metallurgist'.   There are now many documents available in which Lenin insists on mass shootings and hangings.   And [even] Bertrand Russell, who met him when he was in power, reports that 'his guffaw at the thought of those massacred made my blood run cold'." --- Robert Conquest 2005 _The Dragons of Expectation: Reality and Delusion in the Course of History_ pg93  



2011-01-03 16:09PST (2011-01-03 19:09EST) (2011-01-04 00:09GMT)
_Investor's Business Daily_
The Targeting of Christians

2011-01-03 18:37PST (2011-01-03 21:37EST) (2011-01-04 02:37GMT)
Jerome R. Corsi _World Net Daily_
US borders and ports to be less secure under "trusted traveler" program, while TSA continues to grope and expose US air passengers to ionizing radiation

2011-01-03 21:15PST (2011-01-04 00:15EST) (2011-01-04 05:15GMT)
Dave Gibson _Examiner_
congress should demand that double- or triple-layered fence finally be built along borders
"According to the Department of Homeland Security, only 34.3 miles of double-layered fencing has been completed along the border.   Most of that, (13.5 miles), is in Texas, with 11.8 miles in California and a mere 9.1 miles of double-layer fencing now sits along the border in Arizona.   Since Obama became president, all construction on the fence specified in the legislation (similar to the Israeli fence built on the Gaza strip) has basically stopped.   Instead, Homeland Security Secretary and long-time open-borders advocate Janet Napolitano sunk billions into a so-called 'virtual fence', comprised of electronic sensors which proved to be an abysmal failure.   While some low, single-layer fencing has been built, there are huge gaps in between the fences and the new vehicle barriers can simply be straddled, as they are merely 3-4 feet tall.   IOW...they are useless.   In fact, in early 2009, the Government Accountability Office [GAO] reported that only 32 miles of double-layered fencing had been constructed.   As senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) pointed out in a 2010 May Human Events op-ed: 'That means under President Obama, only 2.3 miles of it has been built over an entire year.'"

Doug Bandow _American Spectator_
Governments raiding pension funds

Douglas Smith _American Spectator_
Follow the Rule of Law

2011-01-04 03:09PST (06:09EST) (11:09GMT)
Roy Beck _Numbers USA_
Chamber of Communists is wrong: AZ can pull licenses of firms employing illegal aliens

2011-01-04 03:54PST (06:54EST) (11:54GMT)
Dave Gibson _Examiner_
Expect Sheila Jackson Lee to demand that illegal aliens be covered under Obamacare

2011-01-04 05:11PST (08:11EST) (13:11GMT)
Andria Cheng _MarketWatch_
weekly retail sales up 3.6%

Rick Oltman _San Francisco CA Examiner_
Take the Cannoli... Novato, CA: Gangland hit in suburbia

Derek Gatopoulos _NorthWestern Arkansas_
Greek government considering building border fence to deter illegal immigration

2011-01-04 06:30PST (09:30EST) (14:30GMT)
David B. Caruso _Cumberland PA Sentinel_/_AP_
Frackwater Fiasco or Opportunity

Andrew P. Napolitano _American Spectator_
A part of the US constitution contrary to the spirit of the US constitution

2011-01-04 08:06:11PST (11:06:11EST) (16:06:11GMT)
John Welbes _St. Paul MN Pioneer Press_
Bankruptcies were up in 2010 but may be leveling off (with table)
Minneapolis MN Star Tribune
Sara Murray: Wall Street Journal (with graph)
Boston MA Globe/AP
Mike Baker: Knoxville TN News Sentinel/AP
Ash Bennington: CNBC
Vicki Needham: The Hill
2011-01-04 08:00PST (11:00EST) (16:00GMT)
Rick Scott _FL Gov.com_
inaugural address
St. Petersburg FL Times
First Coast News
West Orlando FL News (video)
Orlando FL Sentinel
Sarasota FL Herald Tribune
Peter Schorsch: St. Petersburg FL web log
Palm Beach FL Post
Lloyd Dunkelberger: Lakeland FL Ledger
"[ellipses designate planned pauses] Let's begin by facing squarely the challenge of our time-a stalled economy.   This morning more than a million Floridians got out of bed and faced another day of unemployment.   For months they've searched for work.   They fill out applications.   They beg for interviews.   They face rejection after rejection.   Many are people who once earned a good living on a construction site.   When the economy stalled, building stopped, and they found themselves with skills, but no degree and no job.   Some are young adults who got a degree and were eager to get started on their lives, but they couldn't find a job, and they've had to move back home.   Others are middle-aged adults who had been steadily employed for years– and then lost their jobs almost overnight.   Unemployed parents struggle to put on a brave face for their children, but it's hard to hide the fact...   that the wolf is at the door.   For ALL the unemployed, life without a paycheck is a desperate daily scramble to provide the basics.   I've been a child in a home like that.   My father was often laid off...   My mother took in ironing just so we could have food on the table...   I have a very clear memory of their fear and uncertainty as they struggled to provide for five kids...   So, for me, job creation is a MISSION.   My personal memories fortify my commitment to this mission.   There are millions of families across Florida whose future depends on the steps we take to create jobs.   America was built on the promise that anyone could succeed who was willing to work hard...   But, when our economy falters and jobs disappear, that American promise seems hollow.   Left uncorrected, high unemployment creates a spiral down into hopelessness.   WE WILL NOT LET THAT HAPPEN IN FLORIDA.   [skip]   The availability of BETTER jobs is the key to long-term prosperity."
executive orders

2011-01-04 08:08:07PST (11:08:07EST) (16:08:07GMT)
Dana Wollman _San Jose CA Mercury "News"_/_AP_
Motorola formally splits: Mobility consumer products and Solutions police radios and barcode scanners
"Sanjay Jha, CEO of the consumer-focused Motorola Mobility Holdings...   Greg Brown, CEO of Motorola Solutions."

2011-01-04 08:18:57PST (11:18:57EST) (16:18:57GMT)
_San Jose CA Mercury "News"_/_AP_
Qualcomm to send another $1G to Taiwan to build display panel plant

Linda Bentley _Maricopa county Examiner_
senator Russell Pearce plans to introduce bill to clarify that anchor babies are not constitutional
"Pearce says the 14th Amendment has since been hijacked and was never intended to be used as it's being used, pointing out, 'We have a path to citizenship and it's not breaking into the country.'   He also notes when the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 it did not recognize American Indians as citizens because they were members of a tribe living on a reservation, a sovereign nation, and Congress was concerned about the jurisdiction language of the 14th Amendment.   While Congress passed the 14th Amendment to give civil rights constitutional protection, which Pearce stated was the right thing to do, he said, 'Senator Howard, who authored the Amendment, made it very clear on the debate of the floor the amendment did not apply to aliens or foreigners.'   Pearce said, as there were no illegal aliens at the time, the intent was to right the wrongs against African slaves and their descendents, for whom we had jurisdiction, adding, 'The American Indian was born here in America.   There was no doubt where they were born.   [It] has nothing to do with your GPS location.'   According to Pearce, nothing changed until the Wong Kim Ark decision of 1898, in which the court basically legislated from the bench, despite 2 precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court cases over 30 years earlier."

Tushar Rae _Chronicle of Higher Education_
2 Winona State U Students Are Suspected of Involvement in Large-Scale Cyber-Crime Ring Based in VietNam
Dan Browning: Minneapolis MN Star Tribune
"The students, Tram Vo and Khoi Van, had possession of more than 180 eBay accounts and over 360 PayPal accounts and accumulated close to $1.25M, according to [court] documents."

Jeffrey Lord _American Spectator_
John Boehner takes on Radical-Leftist-in-Chief

"Engineer in Alabama" _V Dare_
First They Came For The Janitors...

2011-01-04 15:32PST (18:32EST) (23:32GMT)
Kevin Carmichael _Globe & Mail_
Friedrich August Hayek's time has come
"Hayek saw the business cycle differently: Booms and busts were unavoidable because business investment always gets ahead of consumer demand.   Tampering by politicians and central bankers will only make things worse by encouraging malinvestment, which only prolongs the down-turn...   The ideas of Hayek, his mentor Ludwig von Mises [his mentors Carl Menger & Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk, his students such as one-time Soros mentor Karl R. Popper], and others from the so-called Austrian School of economics figure prominently in the intellectual under-pinning of the Tea Party movement that stormed the American political establishment's barricades at November's mid-term elections...   For those of the Austrian School, overindulgence is a given, an assumption that allowed too few investors to see that the [artificially, government-driven] surge in the U.S. housing market wasn't the boon it appeared to be.   According to Hayek, interest rates are inevitably left too low for too long [via the Fed], creating a credit boom that creates the conditions for a bust.   Cheap money induces companies to over-invest.   When the fall comes, companies are left with excess capacity, which takes years to clear up...   Legislative efforts to bring back the gold standard and do away with the Federal Reserve [failed to gain backing in the big spending, big power, big government congresses].   But the financial crisis, and more specifically, the popular backlash against the Wall Street rescue and deep skepticism over the Fed's creation of hundreds of billions of dollars to buy bonds and other financial assets, has moved mainstream thought in the United States considerably closer to libertarian [center]."
"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem (video)
sequel (video)
Hayek and Keynes battle at The Economist's Buttonwood gathering

2011-01-04 (5771 Tebeth 28) Ed Koch _Jewish World Review_
What are they afraid that we'll discover?
"Peter King is the new Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.   I have no doubt that Peter King, who represents the 3rd Congressional District on Long Island, is dedicated to the security of the United States...   The Congressman's decision to hold hearings into what he calls the 'radicalization of the American Muslim community and home-grown terrorism' is, in my judgment, a sensible act on his part which should be supported by the American public.   His decision is opposed, understandably, by some leaders of the American Muslim community.   Far less understandable is the opposition of the New York Times editorial board and others who have attacked King for his plan to hold hearings."

2011-01-04 (5771 Tebeth 28) Steven Emerson _Jewish World Review_
Bombing of the Coptic church in Egypt
"al-Qaida in Iraq issued a statement 2 weeks ago encouraging attacks on Copts.   The targeted church appeared on a list of 50 Coptic churches in Egypt and Europe published a month ago by Shumukh al-Islam, a group tied to al-Qaida."

2011-01-04 (5771 Tebeth 28) Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
"Saving" the housing market
"We hear all sorts of sad stories about people whose homes are 'under water' or who are facing foreclosure.   But why should our attention be arbitrarily focused on these particular people, rather than on the many other people who would benefit from being able to buy those same houses, if the prices came down?   The government is artificially keeping the prices up with subsidies and with pressures on lenders to accommodate the current occupants..   Sometimes we are more concerned about some people because they are especially deserving   But this cannot be said about those who borrowed money to buy homes that they could not afford, or who borrowed against the equity in their homes, and now find that what they owe is more than the home is worth   If anyone is especially deserving, it is those who had the common sense to avoid taking on bigger financial obligations than they could handle, but who are now expected to pay as [tax-victims] for other people's irresponsibility..   People used to put money aside 'for a rainy day'   But now people who have spent like there are no rainy days are supposed to have the [tax-victims] pay to give them an umbrella..   Rescuing particular people at the expense of other people -- whether the others are [tax-victims], savers or prospective home buyers --produces votes   It also produces dependency on government, which is good for politicians, but bad for society   That is why politicians give what Adam Smith called 'a most unnecessary attention' to things that would sort themselves out better and faster without heavy-handed government intervention."

Proposed Bills 2011

  "During the [1980s] there was a running 3-way struggle over vitamins & minerals with no holds barred.   On 1 side were the vitamin libertarians, those who insisted on the right to take doses of nutrition supplements of any size & any combination without interference from government agencies.   On the 2nd side stood a body of nutritionists who urged the public to have nothing to do with manufactured supplements, & to rely instead on a well-balanced diet.   And on the 3rd side were the regulators of the FDA, whose ostensible purpose was to prevent the manufacture & sale of unsafe products, but who were ideologically aligned with the nutritionists to the point that, had it been legally possible, the agency would have banned the sale of supplements altogether." --- Herbert Burkholz 1994 _The FDA Follies_ pg 86  


2011-01-05 (5771 Tebet 29)

2010-01-04 16:47PST (2010-01-04 19:47EST) (2010-01-05 00:47GMT)
Nick Miroff _Washington DC Post_
lack of border security prompts calls for bigger military deployment

_Minneapolis MN Star Tribune_
CEO compensation in MN
highest revenue MN firms
highest profit MN firms
most assets
most employees
best work-places

2011-01-05 04:30PST (07:30EST) (12:30GMT)
Mike Maynard _MarketWatch_
job-cut tally down 59% from 2009
David Schepp: blogging stocks
Central CA Valley Business Times
Henry Unger: Atlanta GA Journal Constitution
529,973 cuts in 2010 (1,288,030 in 2009)
32,004 cuts in 2010 December
automotive 16,001 in 2010
industrial goods manufacturers 26,487 in 2010
retail 38,751 in 2010
government and non-profits 142,255 in 2010
pharmaceuticals 53,636 in 2010

2011-01-05 05:26PST (08:26EST) (13:26GMT)
Wayne Risher _Knoxville TN News Sentinel_/_Commercial Appeal_
Memphis Port Commission approved land for Electrolux plant

2011-01-05 08:34PST (11:34EST) (16:34GMT)
_The Blaze_
Union boss Trumka admits his goal is to move the USA to the left

2011-01-05 09:05PST (12:05EST) (17:05GMT)
Travis Loller _Knoxville TN News Sentinel_
federal appeals court upheld conviction of U of TN professor who passed secrets to research assistants from Iran and Red China
Washington DC Post
Chattanooga TN Times Free Press
Dayton OH Daily News
"He was found guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud, and 15 counts of exporting 'defense articles and services' without a license.   He was sentenced to 48 months in prison but has been on bond pending his appeal, the release from the U.S. Attorney's Office stated.   As a UT professor, Roth won an Air Force contract to develop plasma actuators to control the flight of small, subsonic, unmanned, military drone aircraft.   He allowed 2 foreign national students to access export controlled data and equipment, and exported some of the data from the contract on a trip to [Red China] in violation of the Arms Export Control Act, the release stated."

2011-01-05 12:10PST (15:10EST) (20:10GMT)
Dave Gibson _Examiner_
How many Fortune 500 companies pad their profits by hiring illegal aliens?
"Dunkin Donuts...George Valvanis, 53, of New Hampshire knowingly hired illegal aliens at several Dunkin' Donuts stores in and around Portland, Maine.   He conducted the illegal practice between 2001 and 2009.   In 2010 December, Valvanis pleaded guilty...   Chipotle Mexican Grills...In 2010 December, Chipotle fired about 50 workers from several locations in Minnesota, after Immigration and Customs Enforcement apparently began an investigation into the immigration status of the restaurant chain's work-force...   Sizzler...In 2010 June, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) deputies raided two Sizzler steak house locations in Phoenix, in search of 23 suspected illegal alien workers.   Nine were taken into custody.   The raids were precipitated after the sheriff's office received a tip from a former manager who told them he was asked to quit when he refused to hire employees who could not produce proper identification.   According to MCSO, the former manager was offered 3 months severance pay in exchange for not reporting the information to law enforcement.   One of the illegal workers was actually deported three times from the U.S. and each time he returned, was hired back by Sizzler.   Pro's Ranch Markets...In 2010 May, An Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] audit of Pro's Ranch Markets in Phoenix, resulted in the firing of 300 illegal aliens...   Koch Foods...In February 2010, it was announced that Koch Foods was forced to pay a fine of $536,046, after a 2007 ICE raid turned up 161 illegal aliens working in their Fairfield, OH plant.   ICE agents found 12 illegal aliens hiding in the walk-in freezer.   Five of them required medical treatment...   Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc...In 2009 July, U.S. ICE announced that Krispy Kreme agreed to pay a $40K fine for hiring illegal aliens, after an inspection by ICE discovered the company had hired dozens of illegal workers at their Cincinnati, OH factory...   American Apparel...A 2009 investigation uncovered 1,800 illegal alien workers, using fraudulent documents.   The company, located in Los Angeles is the nation's largest clothing manufacturer, and the 1,800 illegal workers represented a third of their work-force.   The owners of American Apparel have been outspoken proponents of an amnesty plan for this nation's illegal alien population.   McDonald's...In 2008 July, 2 executives and the owner of Mack Associates Inc. which operates 11 McDonalds franchises in Nevada pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges and aiding and abetting...   WM...In 2005, company officials escaped criminal prosecution when they paid the federal government an $11M settlement, after it was discovered that cleaning contractors WM hired were using large numbers of illegal aliens.   ICE agents arrested 245 illegal aliens at Wal-Marts throughout Pennsylvania.   Government prosecutors claimed they had wire-taps to prove that WM executives knew illegal aliens were working in their stores."

2011-01-05 12:43PST (15:43EST) (20:43GMT)
Marc Schenker _Vancouver Examiner_
Arizona Muslim immigrant stands trial for running over daughter in honor killing
"His crime: Running over his 20-year-old, Americanized daughter with his Jeep Grand Cherokee because she had the nerve to refuse an arranged marriage in Iraq that he had set up for her.   Faleh Hassan Almaleki didn't just hit his late daughter, Noor, with his vehicle: After he initially struck her with his American Jeep Grand Cherokee, he made sure he totally finished her off by running over her face and spine before fleeing.   His defense? His culture allows it due to the practice of honor killing.   To further illustrate the problem with some Muslims, their beautiful culture of the 'religion of peace', and their ensuing crimes, we have to probe the mindset of them.   This killer, Almaleki, is actually pleading 'not guilty' not because he's denying his culpability in the murder of Noor, but because he seriously thinks he had a right to kill her due to the Muslim cultural aspect of honor killing."

John Boehner _Dayton OH Daily News_
This is the people's House

_State Legislators for Legal Immigration_
State law-makers convened in DC to deliver historic, nationwide correction to misapplication/misinterpretation of the 14th amendment

William L. Anderson
It's not the Euro
"dissatisfaction with the results of European countries adopting the Euro as a single currency...   Krugman seems to believe that the 'solution' for Europe is yet another round of inflation...   At the center of this problem is the fact that the huge European welfare apparatus, along with the power of government employee unions such as those in Greece, Spain, and Frace, only can be supported if the economies of those nations produce enough wealth to enable governments to spread it around.   Furthermore, the taxation and regulation policies of those nations must be such that it is possible for private firms to create enough wealth in the first place."

2011-01-05 (5771 Tebeth 29)
Tom Brune _Jewish World Review_
Congressmen spar over comments on "radicalization of American Muslims" hearing

2011-01-05 (5771 Tebeth 29)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
True or False
Lew Rockwell
World Net Daily
Human Events
New American
"According to data assembled by Dr. Mark Perry, in his article in The American (2009/12/23) titled 'Manufacturing's Death Greatly Exaggerated', 'For the year 2008, the Federal Reserve estimates that the value of U.S. manufacturing output was about $3.7T.'   If the U.S. manufacturing sector were a separate economy, with its own GDP, it would be tied with Germany as the world's fourth richest economy   The 2008 GDPs were: U.S. ($14.2T), Japan ($4.9T), China ($4.3T), U.S. manufacturing ($3.7T), Germany ($3.7T), France ($2.9T) and the United Kingdom ($2.7T)   U.S. manufacturing employment peaked at 19.5M jobs in 1979   Since 1979, the manufacturing workforce has shrunk by 40%, and there's every indication that manufacturing employment will continue to shrink   Because of automation, the U.S. worker is now 3 times as productive as in 1980 and twice as productive as in 2000   It's productivity gains, rather than outsourcing and imports, that explains most of our manufacturing job loss   U.S. manufacturing is going through the same kind of labor-saving technological innovation as agriculture   In 1790, farmers were 90% of the U.S. labor force   By 1900, only about 41% of our labor force was employed in agriculture   By 2008, less than 3% of Americans were employed in agriculture...   In 1970, the telecommunications industry employed 421K workers, in good-paying jobs as switch-board operators, handling 9.8G long-distance calls yearly   Today, the telecommunications industry employs fewer than 60K operators, and they handle more than 100G long-distance calls yearly   That's an 85% job loss."

2011-01-05 (5771 Tebeth 29)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Mascot Politics
Contra Costa CA Times
Albany GA Herald
"This is a Third World culture, transplanted from Mexico, and living largely outside the scope of American law, state or federal.   Ironically, this is happening in a state notorious for its pervasive and intrusive regulation of the minute details of people's lives, homes, and businesses.   But not out in the Third World enclaves in the Central Valley, where garbage is strewn with impunity and unlicensed swarms of peddlers come and go, selling for cash and with no sales tax.   While waiting in line at 2 supermarkets, Victor Davis Hanson realized in both places that he was the only one in line who was not paying with the plastic cards issued by welfare authorities to replace the old food stamps.   He noted that these people living on the taxpayers were driving late-model cars and had iPhones, BlackBerries and other parts of what he calls 'the technological veneer of the middle class'.   Sadly -- and, in the long run, tragically -- this is not unique to California, or to illegal immigrants from Mexico, or even to the United States.   It is a pattern to which the Western world has been slowly but steadily succumbing.   In France, for example, there are enclaves of Third World Muslims, living by their own rules and festering with resentments of the society that is content to let them vegetate on handouts from the welfare state.   The black ghettos of America, and especially their housing projects, are other enclaves of people largely abandoned to their own lawless and violent lives, their children warehoused in schools where they are allowed to run wild, with education being more or less optional.   What is going on? These and other groups, here and abroad, are treated as mascots of the self-congratulatory elites.   These elites are able to indulge themselves in non-judgmental permissiveness toward those selected as mascots, while cracking down with heavy-handed, nanny-state control on others."
2010-12-15: Victor Davis Hanson: National Review: Two Californias

Proposed Bills 2011

  "An island nation with little land mass, limited agricultural potential, & few minerals, then devastated by bombings during WW2, Japan became a world economic power in a single generation through vision & hard work.   Total Quality Management, based on the Taoist principles of whole systems & continuous growth, revitalized the country's economy.   The Tao reminds us that the greatest natural resource of any group or individual is our consciousness: our ability to learn from experience, to look to the larger patterns, & to discover new solutions." --- Diane Dreher 1996 _The Tao of Personal Leadership_ pg 138  


2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Julie Shaw _Philadelphia PA Daily News_
state representative Daryl Metcalfe called for the end of automatic citizenship for babies born to illegal aliens
Beaufort Observer
State Legislators for Legal Immigration

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
James R. Edwards _Human Events_
Prince William county proves that attrition through enforcement works to discourage illegal immigration
"In 6% of arrests in Prince William County between 2008 March and 2010 June, police encountered suspected illegal aliens, about 3K times.   The report says, 'Nearly all suspects thought to be illegal immigrants were later confirmed as such.'   About 70% of the county's arrests of illegal aliens entailed drunk driving, public drunkenness or driving without a license.   And some 9,300 suspected illegals in the county jail had their immigration status checked.   About 30% were illegals.   The county gave federal immigration authorities custody of almost 2,500 illegal criminal aliens.   Thanks to this policy, the county's non-U.S. citizen population fell 'substantially', by 7,400 over 2 years.   U.Va. researchers conclude 'that the number of illegal immigrants was significantly reduced'.   Some 2K to 6K illegal aliens left the county between 2006 and 2008."

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Twice-deported Carlos Alexis Rodriguez-Hernandez convicted of human trafficking

2011-01-06 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
DoL OPA press releases
historical data
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 577,279 in the week ending Jan. 1, an increase of 52,038 from the previous week.   There were 645,446 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.5% during the week ending Dec. 25, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,390,661, an increase of 273,882 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 4.2% and the volume was 5,484,997.   The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Dec. 18 was 8,765,952.   Extended benefits were available in AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, and WI, during the week ending December 18.   States reported 3,577,663 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending Dec. 18, a decrease of 133,625 from the prior week.   There were 5,140,373 claimants in the comparable week in 2009.   EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.   [Note that the population used for calculating the "insured unemployment rate" changes
to 132,623,886 beginning 2007-10-06;
to 133,010,953 beginning 2008-01-05;
to 133,382,559 beginning 2008-04-05;
to 133,690,617 beginning 2008-07-05;
to 133,902,387 beginning 2008-10-04;
to 133,886,830 beginning 2009-01-03;
to 133,683,433 beginning 2009-04-04;
to 133,078,480 beginning 2009-07-04;
to 133,823,421 beginning 2009-10-03;
to 131,823,421 beginning 2009-10-17;
to 130,128,328 beginning 2010-01-02;
to 128,298,468 beginning 2010-04-03;
to 126,763,245 beginning 2010-07-03
to 125,845,577 beginning 2010-09-25.]
EUC (Excel)
more graphs

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Peter Morici _On-Line Journal_
Jobs drought confronts government/politicians with awkward choices
"By the end of 2013, about 13M private sector jobs must be added to bring unemployment down to 6% [let alone to full employment], and current policies are not creating conditions for businesses to hire 350K workers each month."

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Christopher Orlet _American Spectator_
Researchers: Old people are happier

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Chris Horner _American Spectator_
Warmists must hand over raw data
Christopher C. Horner, David W. Schnare & Robert Marshall: Washington DC Examiner

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
R. Emmett Tyrrell _American Spectator_
Re-inforcements are here

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Dennis Jacobe _Gallup_
Gallup: Unemployment 9.6%, Under-Employment 19% (with graphs)

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Kim Thompson _mondaq_
US DoL Targeting H-1B Pay/Benefits Non-Compliance

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Elizabeth Montalbano & Stuart Anderson _InformationWeek_
US statutory visa fees may set aside trade agreement
"Passed in 2010 August, Public Law 111-230 increases the filing fee and fraud prevention and detection fee by $2K for H-1B visas and by $2,250 for L-1 visas.   The law only applies to companies that employ 50 or more workers in the United States where more than 50% of those workers are in H-1B or L-1 status.   These fee increases likely [abrogate] U.S. commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in several ways, according to a legal analysis written by analyst Stephen Claeys for the National Foundation for American Policy."
US statutes trump executive agreements and treaties.

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Don Bauder _San Diego CA Reader_
Well-educated, highly-skilled tech workers are compensated more than other workers in San Diego
"Number one is Colorado Springs, where the average tech salary is $81,600, a full 103% above workers in other industries.   The average tech salary in San Diego is $93,250, and that's 100% above average.   There are 111K tech workers in San Diego.   Qualcomm is the largest tech employer.   Other cities with big differentials are number 2 Austin, 100% ($93,200); number 4 Sacramento 99%, $86K and number 5 Portland, Oregon 96% and $86,700."

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Pat McDonough _Baltimore MD Sun_
Illegal aliens and foreign students in MD should not get in-state tuition
"The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at the University of Maryland is about $13K.   If 1K illegal aliens were to take advantage of this benefit, that would cost the state $14M.   With Maryland's deficit at $1.6G during difficult economic times, we cannot afford another budget-busting mandate...   Every time an illegal alien secures a place, a Maryland citizen is denied and displaced.   That young Marylander's dream is crushed."

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_/_V Dare_
Are US executives hiring more Americans?
"Sometimes I just have to wonder if main-stream media journalists are stupid or if they are so blinded by ideology they are incapable of seeing facts that are staring them in their own faces.   Perhaps a more likely explanation is that lazy reporters take the easiest route to pump out stories by regurgitating propaganda that is handed to them by globalist think tanks...   demand for all workers (both for H-1Bs and domestic) is down because the labor market is still saturated...   Creating 47K high-tech jobs in the U.S. over a period of a year is hardly something to cheer about and it tells only half the story.   In 2010 while 47K jobs were created, 70K new H-1B petitions were granted and they are now flooding the labor market.   To put it in simple terms, there were more H-1Bs coming into the U.S. than jobs created..."
Let's see, in 2008 47,030 US citizens earned C&IS degrees (down from 66,130 in 2004) and 289,649 US citizens earned STEM degrees, to compete for those 47K jobs.
At the same time, 111,116 H-1B guest-work visas, 313,597 J-1 visas (most of which end up being work visas), 64,696 L-1 guest-work visas, 4124 TN visas, 2191 E-3 guest-work visas, 80K EB-1 green cards, 80K EB-2 green cards, 80K EB-3 green cards were issued, for a total of between 535,724 and 735,724 work visas issued per year.

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Bob Parks _Times Watch_
Three-Fiifths of a Newspaper: the NYTimes editors revealed their ignorance of the US constitution

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
C. Eugene Emery _Providence RI Journal_
Lincoln Chafee rescinded measures to prevent government employment of illegal aliens

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
_University of Cincinnati News Record_
Campus area needs improvements
"The city of Cincinnati is the center of the largest metropolitan population in the state and is the home to 9 Fortune 500 companies as well as 15 Fortune 1K companies.   However, despite the growing number of students on Main Campus, tuition increases and plans put in motion to bring a casino and a streetcar system to the city, the immediate area surrounding UC is disregarded and dangerous.   As the university has taken steps to improve campus life for more than 40K students, just across the street students are robbed and assaulted.   While investors spend millions of dollars reviving the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, UC students hesitate to walk home alone after dark.   In just 10 years, OTR has been resurrected from a scene chosen as the back-drop for the 2000 sex and drug drama 'Traffic' to an up-and-coming hot spot for businesses and expensive apartments.   But the campus area remains neglected...   The campus, which has an economic impact of more than $3G per year and remains the largest single employer in the Cincinnati area, still maintains a certain modesty as a small oasis in the center of one of the city's not-so-nice areas.   Campus life at UC might seem a far cry from that which Miami of Ohio students are used to and the sidewalks of Clifton or Jefferson Avenue might more closely resemble the streets of Detroit than Lane Avenue in Columbus, but it's that same grunge and grit that uniquely defines the Cincinnati college experience.   With the university currently in a midst of a massive push to raise alumni donations to the levels of other Ohio colleges like OSU, Miami and the University of Dayton, UC and the city of Cincinnati need to make moves to not only act the part of a major, 41,357-student university, but improve the safety and quality of life around campus look the part, too."

2011-01-06 (5771 Shebat 01)
Don Goins _Nolan Chart_
debate over meaning of 14th amendment

Proposed Bills 2011

  "The word 'cybernetics' was introduced by a great but eccentric mathematics professor at [MIT], Norbert Wiener...   The word is derived from the ancient Greek 'kubernetes' meaning 'helms-man'.   That word begins with the Greek letter 'kappa', & it is responsible for the 'kappa' in 'Phi Beta Kappa', the academic honor society, the motto of which means 'Philosophy [is] life's helms-man.'   After borrowing from Greek into Latin & later from French into English, the same word gave rise to the verb 'govern'..." --- Murray Gell-Mann 1994 _The Quark & the Jaguar_ pg 72  



2011-01-07 05:10PST (08:10EST) (13:10GMT)
Susan Robertson _Richmond VA Gazette_
Schools in turmoil

2011-01-07 06:30PST (09:30EST) (14:30GMT)
Sarah Krouse _DC Business Journal_
SAIC's plan for McLean site are unique for corporate campus
"SAIC's redevelopment involves increasing density and walkability on its site...   SAIC's site sits next to the planned Tysons Central 7 Metrorail station and would deliver 1,900 residential units, 2.59M square feet of office space, 49K square feet of retail space and 392K square feet of hotel space."

2011-01-07 09:09PST (12:09EST) (17:09GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
Job markets show a lost decade (with graph)

2011-01-07 12:47:16PST (15:47:16EST) (20:47:16GMT)
Ann Sanner & Julie Carr-Smyth _San Jose CA Mercury "News"_/_AP_
VC Mark Kvamme appointed to head JobsOhio board to replace Ohio Department of Development

Ben Wieder _Chronicle of Higher Education_
On-Line Game Teaches How to Collect and Write Citations
"The game, BiblioBouts, turns collecting citations into a competitive event, pitting students against their classmates.   Students are rewarded for their research skills and their ability to differentiate between good and bad material.   To play, they find sources, which are judged by their peers for relevance and credibility, and then measure the worth of sources their classmates find.   They gain more points the more sources they assess accurately and the better their own sources are judged...   His team had been planning upgrades to the program to allow users to access their Zotero-stored citations from any computer and share these libraries with other users, functions that were essential to BiblioBouts."

Joan Lowy _GOP USA_
Obama admin proposing to re-open US roads to Mexican trucks
"The Department of Transportation proposal lays out in general terms conditions that Mexican long-haul truck carriers would have to meet, including a safety audit, U.S. emissions standards and driver background checks...   In 2009 March, after Congress failed to renew a pilot program that let a limited number of Mexican trucking companies haul freight beyond a 25-mile U.S. commercial zone, Mexico placed higher tariffs on 89 U.S. products...   But independent truckers said drug-related violence in Mexico will likely keep their members from transporting goods south across the border, making an increase in access to the U.S.A. by Mexican carriers a one-sided deal."

Michelle Malkin _V Dare_
Another Chicago crony designated White House chief of staff
Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Harrisonburg VA Daily News Record

Patrick J. Buchanan _V Dare_
Can the GOP stand the heat or will they get out of the kitchen?
"As with Wilson's Democrats in 1913, so it is with the Republican Party today.   It has been called to power for the 'large and definite purpose' of halting the growth of government and putting the nation's fiscal house in order...   Will farm-belt Republicans go along with cuts in agricultural subsidies?   Will bricks-and-mortar boys go along with cuts in a federal highway program that is the legacy of GOP representative Bud Shuster of Pennsylvania?   The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, who help finance the party, have programs inside that $3.5T federal budget they wish to see protected...   FDR's New Deal [has not yet been] repealed...   Lyndon Johnson's Great Society was never repealed.   It was consolidated by Richard Nixon.   Even Ronald Reagan conceded that he had failed to control federal spending, though he cut taxes and regulations...   But after Wilson's war, the country turned to Republicans Warren Harding and Cal Coolidge, who cut income taxes and government back to where it consumed, when Silent Cal went home, about 3% of the gross national product."

"Washington Watcher" _V Dare_
GOP patriots go after "birthright citizenship"

Hunter Richards _Software Advice_
Technology, Unemployment, and Our Children's Future

George Handlery _Brussels Journal_
Bureaucracy, Democracy, Individual Rights, and their Conflict

Interview with CIS's Mark Krikorian: Diversity visa lottery is stupid!

Nathan Crabbe _Gainesville FL Sun_
UF may start charging market rate for some tuition
"State lawmakers last year granted state universities the power to seek market rates for graduate-level distance and continuing education programs.   A vote Friday by UF trustees only established the programs for which the university would seek such rates...   In addition to UF, Florida State University also is seeking to charge market rates for 5 programs, including its online master of business administration program...   UF is seeking to charge market-rate tuition for five graduate programs: Doctorate of audiology; Master of business administration; Outreach engineering management; Pharmaceutical sciences clinical doctorate; Pharmaceutical sciences master of science."

William L. Anderson
Krugman is deep in the heart of taxes
"Paul Krugman loves those 'Aha!' moments in which he believes (or at least wants US to believe) that an economy can thrive only if government tax heavily and have lots of union workers on the pay-roll..."

2011-01-07 (5771 Shebat 02)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
When Israeli leftists turn against their country with horrendous lies, the world media is only happy to disseminate them
"And indeed, when questioned by police investigators, Fadel admitted he made the whole attack up.   He accidentally killed his herd himself when he set fire to a pile of bramble.   Too embarrassed to admit his mistake, he decided to blame the Jews and become a local hero.   B'tselem was only too happy to spread his lies."

Proposed Bills 2011

S&P 500(SPX)1,271.50
10-year US T-Bond(UST10Y)3.33
crude oil(CLG11)$88.41/barrel
reformulatedgasoline(RBG11) $2.45/gal
swissfrancsperdollar 0.9689
indianrupeesperdollar 45.45
mexicanpesosperdollar(MXN) 12.44

I usually get this info from MarketWatch.

Proposed Bills 2011

  "Serabit-el-Khadem, which stands in the austere & barren highlands of southern-central Sinai... the ruins of the settlement in which Moses was thought to have lived -- ruins dominated by obelisks, altars & graceful columns of what must once have been an extensive Egyptian temple... had been thoroughly investigated in 1904-1905 by the great British archaeologist Sir William Flinders Petrie -- & that he had unearthed fragments of several stone tablets there.   These tablets were inscribed with writing in a strange pictographic alphabet that, much later, was proved to have belonged to a Semitic-Canaanite language related to ancient Hebrew... had been an important center for the mining & manufacture of copper & turquoise from roughly 1990BC until 1190BC.   These dates meant that there was no anachronism in the assumption that Moses might have sojourned here in the 13th century BC, just prior to the Exodus...   if Moses had indeed lived here for a lengthy period then he could hardly have failed to acquire knowledge of the minerals & metal ores of southern Sinai...   the bulk of the countryside consists of steep & withered mountain ranges, red in colour...   Could it not be that there is an alternative scenario.   Could it not be that his true purpose all along had been to build the Ark of the Covenant & to place inside it some great energy source, the raw substance of which he had known that he would be able to find on this particular mountain top?...   One suggestion... is that the tablets of stone on which God supposedly wrote the 10 Commandments were in fact 2 pieces of a meteorite...   this intriguing possibility is taken seriously by several top-flight biblical scholars, who point to the worship of meteoric fragments in a number of ancient Semitic cultures..." --- Graham Hancock 1992 _The Sign & the Seal_ pp 345-348 (128-138 citing Ahmed Osman 1990 _Moses: Pharoah of Egypt_ pg 171; Werner Keller _The Bible as History_ pp 126-129; William M. Flinders Petrie 1906 _Researches in Sinai_; Itzhaq Beit-Arieh 1988 May/June "The Route Through Sinai" _Biblical Archaeology Review_ pg 33; William F. Albright 1969 _The Proto-Sinaitic Inscriptions & Their DeCipherment_; Frank Moore 1967 "The Evolution of the Alphabet" _Eretz-Israel_ vol 8 #12; Joseph Naveh 1982 _Early History of the Alphabet_; Aviram Perevolotsky & Israel Finkelstein 1985 July/August "The Southern Sinai Route in Ecological Perspective" _Biblical Archaeology Review_ pp 27, 33, 37; APA Publications 1989 _Egypt: Insight Guide_ pp 243-246; Guild Publishing 1987 _The Times Atlas of the Bible_ pg 56; Wolfram von Eschenbach 1980 _Parzival_ pg 232; Julian Morgenstern 1928 "The Book of the Covenant" _Hebrew Union College Annual_ vol 5; Julian Morgenstern 1942-1943, 1968 "The Ark, the Ephod & the Tent of Meeting" _Hebrew Union College Annual_ vol 17; Menahem Haran 1978, 1985 _Temples & Temple Service in Ancient Israel_ pg 246)  



Mike Dennison & Charles S. Johnson _Billings MT Gazette_
Wide variety of business owners told legislators ways in which they've been friends and foes

Denise Smith Amos _Cincinnati OH Enquirer_/_Gannett_
High school "Academy of Global Studies" program causes stir
"A parents group, the Warrior Academic Advisory Council, has publicly objected to parts of the program, including concerns that it may divert funding and resources from efforts to improve academics throughout the district, not just for a few students at the high school...   'They're focusing on 14% of the (student) population.', she said.   'While that is great and innovative, how do we focus on the 86% that is not going to be exposed to such a rigorous curriculum?'"

Alan Tonelson _Wichita KS Eagle_
South Korea trade agreement
"This latest attempt to promote American growth and employment by opening long-closed foreign markets to U.S. goods and services is even less excusable than pacts such as NAFTA or the numerous trade expansion deals with [Red China].   Although the pact eliminates or slashes most Korean tariffs, Seoul can still use its value-added tax system to rig markets.   [South Korea's] 10% VAT will still impose a hidden tariff on all American products bound for Korea, and its VAT rebate for exports will still provide a hidden subsidy for Korean goods bound for the United States.   Long-time [South Korea] deal opponents Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers union praised the final agreement and its automotive provisions.   But these are worse than the auto-related terms won by Europe in its own recent [South Korea] trade pact.   And although in certain cases Washington can retaliate if Seoul breaks its word on dismantling auto trade barriers, retaliation is not mandatory.   It's left to the discretion of American officials still generally obsessed with currying favor even from allies like [South Korea] that desperately need U.S. military protection."

"Silver Shield" _Don't Tread On.Me_
Presto! 9.4% unemployment! How the government lies

Proposed Bills 2011

  "OT1H, the United States is increasingly importing materials it once exported such as super-alloys and crystalline silicon.   OTOH, the rise of [Red China] and India has unleashed enormous new demand for many of these materials...   Currently [Red China] supplies the US market with a large number of mineral commodities, including tungsten, yttrium, magnesium, antimony, indium, graphite, tin, tantalum, and fluorspar." --- Clyde V. Prestowitz 2005 _3G New Capitalists_ pg158  



Sean Barron _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
Boy Scouts take on winter challenges at Camp Stambaugh Klondike Derby

Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Government is spinning high unemployment statistics as the USA collapses
"The BLS counts short-term discouraged workers (less than one year) in its U-6 measure of unemployment.   That unemployment rate is 16.7%.   When statistician John Williams (shadowstats) adds the long-term discouraged, the US unemployment rate as of 2010 December was 22.4%...   U-3 measurement only counts 42% of the unemployed and makes the situation appear to be a lot better than it is.   Where are the 103K new jobs?   As I have reported for years, the jobs are in non-tradable domestic services: waitresses and bar tenders, health care and social assistance (primarily ambulatory health care services), and retail and wholesale trade.   Today the United States has only 11.67M manufacturing jobs, less than 9% of total jobs...   Williams also reports that, unless it is finagled, next month's BLS bench-mark revision of pay-roll employment data will lower the level of previously reported employment by more than 500K."

David North _Center for Immigration Studies_
New foreign PhDs are much less in debt than new US citizen PhDs

Naomi Snyder _Tennesseean_/_Gannett_
Rapidly changing job market brings hopes and fears

John Hawks
Denisovans did not have red hair
"At least, the Denisova sequence does not have any of the variants in humans that are associated with red hair.   Nor does it share the unique Neandertal variant argued to affect hair color in that group.   It's hard to make very confident predictions about pigmentation phenotypes from our current knowledge of gene associations.   But it's fair to say that there's no evidence of anything other than dark hair for this individual.   What may be equally interesting is that at least one Neandertal individual (Vi33.26) also appears to lack the unique variant in other Neandertals -- meaning that this group was probably polymorphic in hair pigmentation.   The unique Neandertal mutation observed by Lalueza-Fox and coworkers Lalueza-Fox:2007 is an A to G substitution at position 919 relative to the beginning of the coding sequence – this mutation changes position 307 of the amino acid sequence from arginine to glycine (abbreviated Arg307Gly).   This mutation was not otherwise observed in living people, but Lalueza-Fox and colleagues suggested on the basis of computational modeling that the change would reduce Mc1r activity, having a similar effect to known mutations that correlate with red hair.   I wrote extensively about the study at the time ('The flame-haired Neandertals').   Lalueza-Fox and colleagues could not confirm that the sampled individuals (El Sidrón 1252 and the Monti Lessini specimen) were homozygotes for this mutation, but their multiple confirmation showed that the mutation must have been present.   Hence they included the concept of 'varying pigmentation' in the title of their paper.   The MC1R sequence has very limited coverage in the Neandertal draft genome data.   Only one read from one individual (Vi33.26) covers this position of the genome..."

Proposed Bills 2011

  "In fact, all the Americans killed in the 2 Iraq wars put together [to date of this writing] were fewer than those killed taking the 1 island of Iwo Jima during the Second World War or 1 day of fighting at Antietam during the Civl War." --- Thomas Sowell 2010 _Intellectuals & Society_ pg273 (citing _WWII: Time-Life Books History of the Second World War_ 1989 pg401; _The Columbia Encyclopedia_ 1993 5th edition pg116)  



2011-01-10 02:47PST (05:47EST) (10:47GMT)
David Case _Global Post_
Is Red China headed for a financial melt-down?: Red China may be losing control of its economy to dubious financial engineering and loan sharks

2011-01-10 04:36PST (07:36EST) (12:36GMT)
Liau Yun Qing _Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
Auction site Taobao in Red China selling hacked iTunes accounts

2011-01-10 08:55PST (11:55EST) (16:55GMT)
Matt Andrejczak _MarketWatch_
private-sector college enrollments down 5%-20%

2011-01-10 09:45PST (12:45EST) (17:45GMT)
Will Greenlee _Treasure Coast FL Palm_/_Scripps_
2 of 5 illegal aliens who came ashore in St. Lucie county FL expected to face charges, others may be deported

2011-01-10 10:52PST (13:52EST) (18:52GMT)
Shawn Langlois _MarketWatch_
Porsche is back, and Ford is hiring
"The all-new [Chrysler] 300 packs 292 horsepower in its V-6 version and could reach 30 miles per gallon...   Ford Motor Company kept up the chipper tone to the show when it vowed to add 4K hourly jobs and 750 salaried workers this year and 2,500 blue-collar jobs next year.   The auto maker also focused on plans to beef up its electrification program."

2011-01-10 13:46:11PST (16:46:11EST) (21:46:11GMT)
_San Jose CA Mercury "News"_/_AP_
Nielsen to sell shares for $20 to $22 in IPO

2011-01-10 13:48PST (16:48EST) (21:48GMT)
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes _Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
AMD CEO Dirk Meyer resigned

_Cumberland PA Sentinel_/_Lee_/_AP_
Hershey PA man who inspired "Band of Brothers" mini-series died at the age of 92
"During that invasion, Winters led 13 of his men in destroying an enemy battery and obtained a detailed map of German defenses along Utah Beach.   In 1944 September, he led 20 men in a successful attack on a German force of 200 soldiers.   Occupying the Bastogne area of Belgium at the time of the Battle of the Bulge, he and his men held their place until the Third Army broke through enemy lines, and Winters shortly afterward was promoted to major."

_Mexican Occupation_
Illegal immigration & the US federal budget; They're just trying to transfer the staggering cost of all that "cheap" Mexican labor to the states

W. James Antle iii _American Spectator_
Leftism's view of the US constitutional as frail and malleable
"Nearly all this commentary misses the point.   The argument isn't that the Constitution is perfect or the equivalent of Scripture.   It was, as liberals are fond of pointing out, a document written and ratified through a political process, the product of compromises between Framers with different opinions on some important questions, much like any other document that could be devised through such a process.   The argument is that the Constitution is the law.   The federal government must obey the Constitution because constitutional government is, in the American Republic, the only form of lawful government.   Which brings up the next point: the Constitution may not be an exhaustive list of policy prescriptions that the Framers would have viewed as correct, but it is an exhaustive list of the powers of the federal government."

Robert J. Samuelson _Washington DC Post_
Academic achievement gap requires improvement in families, culture and schools

Steve Forbes
Copernican Revolution coming to economics

Jeffrey Bell & Rich Danker _Forbes_
There is no getting around gold (and other commodities)
"Earlier this week Thomas Hoenig, president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, went out of his way to call the gold standard a 'very legitimate monetary system'.   In November, World Bank president Robert Zoellick and Indiana Republican congressman Mike Pence both called for a serious look at using gold as the centerpiece of international monetary reform...   floating money is running out of political cover, and that the obstacles to gold replacing it are narrowing...   The international gold standard worked as well as it did because it automated domestic monetary decisions according to the ability of citizens and foreign trading partners to convert currencies into gold.   The price-specie-flow mechanism, devised by David Hume to discredit mercantilism in the 18th century, guaranteed that countries with international payments deficits lost buying power and were brought back into balance with the world economy through competitive price adjustments initiated by redemptions for gold.   This system, which the U.S. was wedded to from 1879 to 1914, out-performed all other American monetary regimes in terms of overall price stability according to John Mueller's statistical analysis in his new book Redeeming Economics."

William L. Anderson
Krugman's climate of dishonesty

2011-01-10 (5771 Shebat 05)
Rivy Poupko Kletenik _Jewish World Review_
"Mad Men" Mussar
"We humans love stories.   Stories offer us the opportunity to carefully scrutinize the behaviors of others without risking the vulnerability of speaking openly about ourselves or those close to us.   We crave the thrill of observing; it allows us to search for our own meaning and to probe our own values as we watch and explore our reactions to the shenanigans on the small screen.   'Mad Men' characters have grabbed our imagination, portraying a collection of deeply complex personalities while catapulting us back to an age that looms large in our minds: The watershed years of the 1960s.   Given that, let's give it a go, and explore a few of these efforts at middot -- character trait improvements -- that may even resonate for us real folks.   Here is a quick refresher: Mussar is a path of personal growth within everyday life, with meticulous attention to specific character traits -- your own life curriculum -- that repeatedly present themselves to you in the form of pitfalls and ongoing conflict within yourself and others.   Becoming more widespread, as a result, in no small way to the popularity of Alan Morinis' first book _Everyday Holiness_, and his new hands-on volume, _Every Day, Holy Day_.   Mussar urges us to use reflection, study, coaching and journaling to realize our potential through tough inner work, as a mode for spiritual perfection.   So, using the Mussar tradition, onto 'Mad Men'.   Don Draper, the central protagonist, has been struggling with his identity.   Don, it is time for some truth in your life...   Betty, the time has come for some work on the middah of chesed, loving kindness.   Rabbi Chaim Zaitchik, author of _Sparks of Mussar_, tells us that chesed means being careful of another's honor and dignity, helping others, having one's heart overflow with love and kindness, utilizing every opportunity to benefit others, even greeting others with a pleasant countenance, because it makes the other feel good and binds people together in friendship."

2011-01-10 (5771 Shebat 05)
Melanie Phillips _Jewish World Review_
Israel's supporters better wake up!

Proposed Bills 2011

  "Lastly, you need 1 cat, although 2 are better.   Cats keep you from taking yourself too seriously.   They also are good judges of literature.   If a cat won't sit on a freshly typed page it's not worth much.   Think of your cat as the original Muse." --- Rita Mae Brown 1989-04-?? _Starting from Scratch_ pg 54  



2011-01-10 18:14PST (2011-01-10 21:14EST) (2011-01-11 02:14GMT)
Ben Fischer _DC Business Journal_
Even among partners, pay for lawyers varies widely
report contents page

2011-01-10 22:00PST (2011-01-11 01:00EST) (2011-01-11 06:00GMT)
Kate Bramson _Providence RI Journal_
leftist RI governor Lincoln Chafee reappointed Keith W. Stokes to lead the state Economic Development Corporation
"During his campaign, Chafee blasted the Stokes-led EDC after the agency granted Curt Schilling's video-game company, 38 Studios, a $75M loan guarantee to lure the company to Rhode Island...   Stokes, who joined the EDC board in 1994, is the only hold-over at the board level from a sharply different EDC of a year ago.   The agency was completely overhauled last year, following a scathing report authored by Hasbro Chairman Alfred Verrecchia, which called the state's economic-development policy 'fragmented, disjointed and without focus'...   Keith W. Stokes: Age: 52.   Current job: Executive director of the state Economic Development Corporation.   Experience: 15 years as executive director of Newport County Chamber of Commerce; senior policy adviser to former governor Bruce Sundlun; executive director of the Omni Development Corporation; frequent lecturer in community and regional planning, historic preservation and interpretation with an expertise in early African and Jewish American history.   Education: Bachelor of science, Cornell University; master's degree, University of Chicago."

2011-01-11 03:00PST (06:00EST) (11:00GMT)
Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
"IT" hiring shows gains, but jobs may be shifting away from core tech
"TechServe Alliance, an IT services industry group that analyzes U.S. Labor Department unemployment data, said the tech employment added 3,500 workers, or 0.09%, bringing the overall [employed] IT work-force to 3.9M.   At its peak more than 2 years ago, tech employment was at 4M.   The year-to-year gain was 2.61%.   In its analysis, Foote Associates, a work-force analyst firm, counted a net gain of [only] 9,600 in IT-related jobs, mostly in U.S. Labor Dept. categories of management and technical consulting services and computer system design and related services [i.e. bodyshopping].   Through October, [only] 26K jobs were created, Foote said.   David Foote, the company's CEO, believes that the federal government's data isn't reflecting the true size of the tech work-force or the changes in the hiring patterns, and believes that there may be as many as 20M 'hybrid IT/business professionals'.   They include people who do statistical analysis, predictive analytics, forecasting, among other occupations that don't fit neatly into a traditional IT category."

Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
Obama appointed Gene Sperling to National Economic Council
"Sperling brokered a deal with Congress to raise the [already vastly excessive H-1B] visa cap to 195K -- the highest it has ever been -- between the years 2001 and 2003...   Former representative Bruce Morrison (D-CT) was the author of the 1990 immigration legislation that created the H-1B visa.   That law was written before IT off-shoring was on the map, and Morrison, in an interview with Computerworld, said that had off-shore out-sourcing been an issue at that time, he would have written the law differently.   'If I knew in 1990 what I know today about the use of it for [off-shore] out-sourcing, I wouldn't have drafted it so that staffing companies of that sort could have used it.', Morrison said.   Jobs are going abroad because of globalization, he said, 'but the government shouldn't have its thumb on the scale, making it easier'.   In 1989, Morrison was chairman of the House Immigration Subcommittee, which created a professional visa category, the H-1B, and set a bachelor's degree as a minimum requirement."

2011-01-11 06:23PST (09:23EST) (14:23GMT)
G. Chambers Williams iii _Knoxville TN News Sentinel_/_Tennessean_
Nissan to on-shore production of the Rogue to Smyrna, TN

2011-01-11 13:05:37PST (16:05:37EST) (21:05:37GMT)
Larry Neumeister _San Jose CA Mercury "News"_/_AP_
Bob Nguyen, 32, of Stockton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in insider trading case

2011-01-11 11:39PST (14:39EST) (19:39GMT)
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard _London Telegraph_
Deepening crisis traps America's have-nots
"luxury outlets saw an 8.1% rise from a year ago, but discount stores catering to America's poorer half rose just 1.2%...   people on food stamps have reached 43.2M, an all time-high of 14% of the population.   Recipients receive debit cards -- not stamps -- currently worth about $140 a month under President Obama's stimulus package.   The US Conference of Mayors said visits to soup kitchens are up 24% this year.   There are 643K people needing shelter each night.   Jobs data released on Friday was again shocking.   The only the reason that headline unemployment fell to 9.4% was that so many people dropped out of the system altogether.   The actual number of jobs contracted by 260K to 153.69M.   The 'labour participation rate' for working-age men over 20 dropped to 73.6%, the lowest the since the data series began in 1948.   My guess is that this figure exceeds the average for the Great Depression (minus the cruellest year of 1932)...   The long-term unemployed (more than 6 months) have reached 42% of the total, twice the peak of the early 1990s.   Nothing like this has been seen since the World War Two...   The switch from brawn to brain in the internet age has obviously pushed up the Gini count, but so has globalization.   Multi-nationals are exploiting 'labour arbitrage' by moving plant to low-wage countries, playing off workers in [Red China] and the West against each other.   The profit share of corporations is at record highs across in America and Europe."

2011-01-11 12:00PST (15:00EST) (20:00GMT)
Paul Edward Parker _Providence RI Journal_
Electric Boat to invest $40M in expansion of Quonset Point facility and hire 400

Patrick Thibodeau _InfoWorld_/_IDG_
New National Economic Council head Gene Sperling pushed H-1B expansion under Clinton
"The economy has depressed demand for the visa among U.S. companies, but it has not softened the debate on the H-1B visa itself.   Rather, the economic down-turn has shifted the focus of the debate, which today centers on the use of the visas by off-shore companies.   Former representative Bruce Morrison (D-CT) was the author of the 1990 immigration legislation that created the H-1B visa.   That law was written before IT off-shoring was on the map, and Morrison, in an interview with ComputerWorld, said that had off-shore out-sourcing been an issue at that time, he would have written the law differently.   'If I knew in 1990 what I know today about the use of it for out-sourcing, I wouldn't have drafted it so that staffing companies of that sort could have used it.', Morrison said.   Jobs are going abroad because of globalization, he said, 'but the government shouldn't have its thumb on the scale, making it easier'...   The intent was to create a program that tilted toward permanent immigration, Morrison said, hence the requirement for [lower] skilled workers and a limit on the number of visas 'so there would be pressure to use the Green Card process' for visa holders who want to continue working in this country, he said...   Miller said Sperling's role was to figure out whether there was a workable solution to the visa cap that wouldn't under-cut what Miller characterized as the U.S. Labor Department's 'ideological opposition to the H-1B program' and still keep the tech [executives] happy."

Byron York _Town Hall_
To US house Republicans, illegal immigration is a jobs issue
"priorities: immigration, national security, the unconstitutionality of Obamacare, law-suit abuse, intellectual property and more...   'One initial hearing will be on work-site enforcement...   Work-place enforcement has dropped 70% under the Obama administration.'...   While the administration seems focused almost exclusively on illegal immigrants who have felony records, Smith wants to concentrate on work-places, with more use of the E-Verify system and other ways to ensure that businesses hire only workers who are in the country legally.   Talk to Republicans these days, and everything is about jobs...   Asked about the Obama administration's lawsuit against the state of Arizona, the Texas Republican is quick to condemn it -- he says it is 'misguided and unnecessary' and sends the message that the administration 'is not interested in having our immigration laws enforced' -- but doesn't see much that he can do about it as chairman...   Steve King of Iowa, a member of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, is passionate on the subject.   'There are 2 areas in America where the law is ignored and sometimes laughed at, and immigration is one of them.', King says.   (The other, he adds, is election law.)   King wants to change that."

"HangCool2004" _Protect Our Borders Now_
GA state representative John Yates
"Georgia's Republican state representative John Yates has a position on immigration that almost nobody would agree with: he wants US border agents empowered to 'shoot to kill'.   Asked to justify his position, Yates recently told a reporter in Atlanta that illegal immigrants are enemies of America who must be dealt with severely.   'Stopping Hitler was worth the price.', the 89-year-old law-maker said.   Speaking at a Georgia candidate forum last week, a moderator asked for ideas on dealing with illegal immigration in Georgia.   The state shares borders with AL, FL, TN and the Carolinas.   Yates began by saying he favors a tax on money sent from Georgia to Mexico, being that many undocumented residents do not pay an income tax.   Then, the World War II veteran kicked it up a notch or 2.   '[The National Guard] ought to be armed and, if warned by leaflets dropped all over Mexico that says that we will shoot to kill if anybody crosses, and be serious about this -- and if they do that then there won't be anybody killed.', Yates said...   Asked to explain his 'shoot to kill' remark, Yates told MyFox Atlanta that any invading force should be treated with the utmost hostility."

Eric Kelderman _Chronicle of Higher Education_
Medical schools must extort Socialist Insecurity from residents/apprentices

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Little Green Lies
Energy Security myth busted

Eric Peters _American Spectator_
driver's licenses are not about competent driving
"in the U.S.A., a driver's license is really an ID card.   A sort of internal passport we're all compelled to carry -- and produce, upon demand.   It has very little to do with driving -- and much to do with herding us like the cattle we've become.   I go too far? Well, see how far you can go without a driver's license -- even if you never get behind the wheel of a car.   Banks want to see your driver's license before they'll open an account -- which you need to cash your check from your employer -- who won't hire you unless you produce the government-issued internal passport -- which you also can't board an airplane without and do many other things besides.   All of which have exactly zilch to do with operating a motor vehicle.   Of course, it was the Germans who invented the 'driver's' license...   The Germans have a DNA-encoded fetish for controlling things -- including other humans.   Again, stifle the PC outrage.   I understand the German mindset because I grew up in it and am plagued by it myself.   It takes an everyday act of will to remind myself that other people are not my play-things and that they have as much right to do as they please -- provided they're not harming anyone, of course -- as I do...   We now have to carry around these infernal internal passports that have nothing to do with driving ability, in order for the authorities -- government and corporate -- to be able to identify, record and process us.   Like the Fourth Amendment and other former freedoms we've surrendered over the years, the freedom to travel thus no longer exists in this country.   Even if you are on foot you can expect trouble if you cross paths with a representative of the sicherheitspolizei who -- for no reason or for any reason -- demands you 'show me some ID' -- and you don't happen to have any.   Doesn't matter that you're just walking to the store (or whatever) and haven't done a thing to warrant suspicion of criminal conduct (the old standard; long since thrown in the woods).   Yes, I know that technically -- in some states -- 'the law' still says they have to have some sort of articulable probable cause.   See how much that helps when the SD man is Tazering you -- or worse -- for "resisting" or whatever he'll say you were doing.   In fact, in the real world, possessing an ID -- a driver's license -- is a functional necessity...   But the "driver's" licenses almost all of us carry today are nothing more than the equivalent of the yellow tags you see stapled into the left ears of cows.   And serve the same purpose.   I think it's time for the cattle to question the whole business..."

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Leftists believe they're punishing us for our own good, protecting us from the supposed evils of private property
L. Grdon Crovitz: Wall Street Journal: How DC defriended small investors: congress and regulators tilt the playing field in favor of the wealthy and well-connected

2011-01-11 (5771 Shebat 06)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
A Republican show-down?
"the journey from triumphant hero to discredited scape-goat can be very brief...   great hopes are being held out that Republican control of the House of Representatives can slam the brakes on Barack Obama's march toward a completely government-controlled economy and ruinous deficit spending.   The first big step toward that goal could be forcing the Obama administration to cut back on spending, as the price of raising the national debt ceiling, which will be necessary early on in this new Congress, if the federal government is not going to be forced to shut down for lack of money.   Much of the runaway spending in Washington has been a spending of money that the government doesn't have in the till, by borrowing money through the sale of government bonds -- in other words, running up a record high national debt.   Because there is a legal limit on how much national debt the government can create, the spending has to be cut back or the debt ceiling increased by Congress.   Otherwise, the government is going to have to shut down many of its operations for lack of money.   Some people see this as a golden opportunity for the new Republican majority to gain concessions from the Obama administration, as the price for going along with an increase in the national debt.   It sounds logical.   But logic is not always the dominant factor in politics...   Back in 1995, Bill Clinton and the Congressional Democrats, with the aid of the media, pounded away on the theme that the Republicans had 'cut' government programs, even where the Republicans had appropriated more money than these programs had ever had before...   If Republicans still do not appreciate the enormous importance of articulation, then forcing a shutdown of the government can be another political disaster for them.   So can caving in to Obama."

Proposed Bills 2011

  "Diodorus Siculus [Greek historian born in Sicily b: c. 90BCE d: c. 20BCE, son of Apollonius] points out that soap (sopa) was a Celtic invention and word.   During Caesar's time, Britain was renowned... for its woolen trade and for a Roman to own a British woolen cloak was [equivalent to owning an expensive tailored suit]...   Strabo [Greek geographer b: c. 63BCE d: c. 24CE, born in what is now Turkey about 75km from the Black Sea] pointed out that because Britain was a leading commercial centre outside the Roman empire, trade on an equal footing with Britain would produce more revenue for Rome than would accrue if the island were to become a Roman province and the Roman treasury had to pay for a standing army and civil service to run the country." --- Peter Berresford Ellis 1994 _The Druids_ pg68  



2011-01-12 06:01PST (09:01EST) (14:01GMT)
Vivek Wadhwa _Business Week_
America has an inferiority complex about its education system, but US schools are still way ahead
"The Journal article was simply bizarre, yet it is true that education in China and India is very challenging and fiercely competitive.   Children are brought up to believe that education is everything, that it will make the difference between success and starvation.   So from their early years they work long and hard.   Most of their childhood is spent memorizing books on advanced subjects...   The independence and social skills American children develop give them a huge advantage when they join the work-force.   They learn to experiment, challenge norms, and take risks.   They can think for themselves, and they can innovate.   This is why America remains the world leader in innovation; why Chinese and Indians invest their life savings to send their children to expensive U.S. schools when they can.   India and China are changing, and as the next generations of students become like American ones, they too are beginning to innovate.   So far, their education systems have held them back...   significant proportions of China's engineering graduates end up working on factory floors and Indian industry has to spend large sums of money retraining its employees.   After 4 or 5 years in the work-force, Indians do become innovative and produce, overall, at the same quality as Americans, but they lose a valuable 2 to 3 years in their re-training."

2011-01-12 08:28PST (11:28EST) (16:28GMT)
Daniel Indiviglio _The Atlantic_
Why isn't the Internet helping the unemployed?

Nada Bakri _NY Times_
Terrorist Hezbollah faction putting pressure on Lebanese government to ignore their role in assassination: Cabinet dissolved
"Hezbollah and its allies forced the collapse of the government here on Wednesday, deepening a crisis over a United Nations-backed tribunal investigating the assassination of a former prime minister.   11 of the cabinet's 30 ministers announced their resignations, a move that dissolves the government.   They said they were prompted to act by the cabinet's refusal to convene an emergency session to oppose the tribunal, which is expected to indict members of Hezbollah...   Hezbollah and its foes have wrestled over the direction of the small Mediterranean country since the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, was killed in a bombing along Beirut's sea-front in 2005.   22 other people died in the attack.   Since then, the tribunal has investigated his death and is now widely expected to indict members of Hezbollah, the country's powerful Shiite Muslim movement."

_San Diego CA 6_
Border Patrol agent arrested for harboring illegal aliens
"arrested suspected [illegal alien] Jose Alfredo Garrido-Morena, also 26.   According to a complaint unsealed in U.S. District Court in San Diego this afternoon, Garrido-Morena had been living at the residence since at least November along with Manzano and the accused agent's 46-year-old father, Marcos Gerardo Manzano Sr.   The elder Manzano, who faces federal immigration-violation charges in the case, remains at large, according to the FBI.   In addition to purportedly harboring undocumented immigrants, Manzano Jr. allegedly lied to a fellow Border Patrol agent when asked while on duty if he knew the whereabouts of his father, who was convicted 4 years ago in a U.S. court of possessing marijuana for sale and was twice deported to his home country of Mexico."

_National Inflation Association_
College education price bubble set to burst in 2011

Gabriela Montell _Chronicle of Higher Education_
universities are over-producing PhDs while there are few tenure-track jobs

James Taranto _Wall Street Journal_
Big Lies and Little Ones From the Left

2011-01-12 (5771 Shebat 07)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
What our constitution permits
"Here's the House of Representatives' new rule: 'A bill or joint resolution may not be introduced unless the sponsor has submitted for printing in the Congressional Record a statement citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the bill or joint resolution.' Unless a congressional bill or resolution meets this requirement, it cannot be introduced   If the House of Representatives had the courage to follow through on this rule, their ability to spend and confer legislative favors would be virtually eliminated   Also, if the rule were to be applied to existing law, they'd wind up repealing at least two-thirds to three-quarters of congressional spending   You might think, for example, that there's constitutional authority for Congress to spend for highway construction and bridges   President James Madison on 1817 March 3, vetoed a public works bill saying: "Having considered the bill this day presented to me entitled 'An act to set apart and pledge certain funds for internal improvements,' and which sets apart and pledges funds 'for constructing roads and canals, and improving the navigation of water courses, in order to facilitate, promote, and give security to internal commerce among the several States, and to render more easy and less expensive the means and provisions for the common defense,' I am constrained by the insuperable difficulty I feel in reconciling the bill with the Constitution of the United States and to return it with that objection to the House of Representatives, in which it originated.'   Madison, who is sometimes referred to as the father of our Constitution, added to his veto statement, 'The legislative powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated in the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, and it does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers.'..   What about hand-outs to poor people, businesses, senior citizens and foreigners?   Madison said, 'Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.'   In 1854, President Franklin Piece vetoed a bill to help the mentally ill, saying, 'I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity   (To approve the measure) would be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded.'   President Grover Cleveland vetoed a bill for charity relief, saying, 'I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit.'..   Thomas Jefferson said: "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.'   Madison added, 'With respect to the two words ''general welfare'', I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them   To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.'   John Adams warned, 'A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored   Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.'   I am all too afraid that's where our nation stands today and the blame lies with the American people."

Linda M. Linonis _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
in inversion of propriety, state government declares mandates and permissions on townships

Chris Horner _American Spectator_
Utility executives are lobbying to increase your energy bills

Linda Bentley _Sonoran News_
New Mexico's governor plans to revoke licenses issued to illegal aliens
"Former governor Bill Richardson, an open borders advocate, further exacerbated the problem by banning Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) clerks from asking applicants if they were legally present.   New Mexico and a smattering of a few other states, which allow illegal aliens to obtain driver licenses, have become Meccas for human smugglers and those in the fraudulent ID business.   Following the passage of Arizona's SB1070, New Mexico's DMV issued 10,257 licenses to foreign born (both legal and illegal) applicants during the first 6 months of 2010, a 60 percent increase, compared to 13,481 issued during all of 2009 to foreign born applicants.   The number of licenses issued to citizens during that same period of time remained flat."

Michael Shaw _Activist Post_
Stave off globalism by re-invigorating US constitutional principles

Douglas French _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
NY judges want to unionize
"90% of those who responded are for creating a judge's association to negotiate on behalf of the jurists."

William L. Anderson
interview by judge Andrew P. Napolitano
short video

2011-01-12 (5771 Shebat 07)
P.A. Madison _Federalist_
there is nothing unusual about states denying citizenship to alien children

Proposed Bills 2011

  "Hundreds of millions have died from malaria, yellow fever, typhus, dengue, plague, encephalitis, leishmaniasis, filariasis, and many other diseases.   In the 14th century the bubonic plague (transmitted by fleas) killed a fourth of the people of Europe and two-thirds of those in the British Isles.   Yellow fever killed millions before it was found to be transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes...   More than 100 epidemics of typhus ravaged civilizations in Europe and Asia, with mortality rates as high as 70%.   But by far the greatest killer has been malaria, transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes.   In 1945, the goal of eradicating this scourge appeared to be achievable thanks to DDT.   By 1959, the US, Europe, and portions of the Soviet Union, Chile, and several Caribbean islands were nearly malaria free." --- J. Gordon Edwards 2004 "A Case Study in Scientific Fraud" _Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons_ vol9 #3; Mark R. Levin 2009 _Liberty and Tyranny_ pg116  



2011-01-13 02:35PST (05:35EST) (10:35GMT)
34,612 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico over the past 4 years; 15,273 in 2010, 9,616 in 2009
UK Morning Star
Manchester Guardian
Wall Street Journal

2011-01-13 05:28PST (08:28EST) (13:28GMT)
Jeannine Aversa _Knoxville TN News Sentinel_/_AP_
Energy and foods costs drive increasing PPI
Christian Science Monitor
Investor's Business Daily

2011-01-13 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
DoL OPA press releases
historical data
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 770,413 in the week ending Jan. 8, an increase of 191,686 from the previous week.   There were 815,593 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.8% during the week ending Jan. 1, an increase of 0.3 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,766,951, an increase of 351,439 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 4.6% and the volume was 6,013,891.   The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Dec. 25 was 9,193,838.   Extended benefits were available in AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, and WI, during the week ending December 25.   States reported 3,773,092 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending Dec. 25, an increase of 195,429 from the prior week.   There were 4,980,124 claimants in the comparable week in 2009.   EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.   [Note that the population used for calculating the "insured unemployment rate" changes
to 132,623,886 beginning 2007-10-06;
to 133,010,953 beginning 2008-01-05;
to 133,382,559 beginning 2008-04-05;
to 133,690,617 beginning 2008-07-05;
to 133,902,387 beginning 2008-10-04;
to 133,886,830 beginning 2009-01-03;
to 133,683,433 beginning 2009-04-04;
to 133,078,480 beginning 2009-07-04;
to 133,823,421 beginning 2009-10-03;
to 131,823,421 beginning 2009-10-17;
to 130,128,328 beginning 2010-01-02;
to 128,298,468 beginning 2010-04-03;
to 126,763,245 beginning 2010-07-03
to 125,845,577 beginning 2010-09-25.]
EUC (Excel)
more graphs

2011-01-13 06:07PST (09:07EST) (14:07GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US trade deficit reduced slightly to $38.3G in November
census bureau

2011-01-13 06:15PST (09:15EST) (14:15GMT)
Janna Herron _Knoxville TN News Sentinel_/_AP_
Banks repossessed 1M homes in 2010
Portland OR Business Journal
My Valley News
Fire Dog Lake
San Jose CA Mercury "News"/AP
The Hill

Ed Runyan _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
Demolition order was issued for Delphi Packard plant
"The city has tried to work with Delphi Automotive Systems of Troy, MI, since the buildings with 720K square feet were idled in 2006, but the vandalism and safety issues have worsened, said Christopher Taneyhill, the city's chief building official...   Warren's demolition order comes a short time after county officials announced they were taking steps to purchase part of the Delphi Corp.’s North River Road facilities to prevent Delphi from demolishing them.   Delphi has advertised for demolition of parts of the North River Road plants in Bazetta and Howland townships.   It has put those demolitions on hold, however, pending further negotiations with county commissioners and the Western Reserve Port Authority."

Matthew Vadum _American Spectator_
ACORN executive Amy Adele Busefink was sentenced earlier this week for her role in a voter fraud conspiracy in Las Vegas

2011-01-13 08:15PST (11:15EST) (16:15GMT)
_Knoxville TN News Sentinel_/_AP_
Electrolux approved for 15-year tax freeze as part of deal to build manufacturing plant in Memphis

2011-01-13 08:28:38PST (11:28:38EST) (16:28:38GMT)
Kim Kwang-Tae _San Jose CA Mercury "News"_/_AP_
Police in Sout Korea charge Google with privacy violation

R. Emmett Tyrell ii _American Spectator_
More evidence leftism is dead

2011-01-13 08:30PST (11:30EST) (16:30GMT)
Steve Kerch _Wall Street Journal_
Double-digit rent hikes may lie ahead in the USA
San Jose CA Mercury "News"
"Multi-family developers broke ground on just 114K units in the United States in 2010, a figure so low that it wouldn't account for all the multi-family units lost last year to the wrecking ball or natural disasters, David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, said at the International Builders Show here.   Although builds are expected to grow 16% to 133K starts in 2011, that number, too, would leave a substantial deficit in the number of units needed to meet expected demand...   Jacobson said his company's portfolio of rental properties has a 96.5% occupancy rate.   In Miami occupancies are running at 98% and some properties are full with waiting lists.   Rents have already started to climb, going up an average 4% in 2010, he said.   But in some markets those increases are 7% to 8%."

2011-01-13 09:01:43PST (12:01:43EST) (17:01:43GMT)
Mary E. Arata & Chris Camire _Nashoba Publishing_
Evergreen Solar closing, 800 workers to be dumped with little in the way of severance benefits
John Chesto: Wicked Local
"The company reported losses of $265M in 2009, and $54M through the first 9 months of 2010...   Evergreen received $58M in state aid to open the $430M solar-panel plant in 2008 at the former military base in Devens."

2011-01-13 15:42PST (18:42EST) (23:42GMT)
_Investor's Business Daily_
How fast is the Fed inflating?

Proposed Bills 2011

  "In India, where malaria infected an estimated 75M and killed 800K every year, fatalities had dropped to zero by the early 1960s.   Between 1945 and 1965, DDT saved millions -- even tens of millions -- of lives around the world, perhaps more than any other man-made drug or chemical before or since." --- Malcolm Gladwell 2001-08-02 _New Yorker_ pg48; Mark R. Levin 2009 _Liberty and Tyranny_ pg117  



Michael Cutler _Family Security Matters_
ICE, illegal aliens and finger-print checks
ICE: Licking county OH to benefit from ICE strategy to use biometrics to identify and remove aliens convicted of a crime

2011-01-13 19:55:40PST (2011-01-13 22:55:40EST) (2011-01-14 03:55:40GMT)
Pete Carey _San Jose CA Mercury "News"_
San Jose CA area bankruptcies set all-time record in 2010 (with graph)
"There were 13,366 new bankruptcy cases filed in the San Jose court in 2010.   Those included 7,844 Chapter 7 bankruptcies, in which people seek to liquidate their property and distribute the assets to creditors; 5,376 Chapter 13 filings, in which people keep property and create a plan for paying off their debts over a three- to five-year period, and 145 Chapter 11 bankruptcies, in which businesses and individuals reorganize to pay debts over time.   There was also one Chapter 12 family farm filing.   The filings remained above 1K per month February to November, dipping below that only at the beginning and end of the year.   The December figure for the court's San Francisco division, which includes San Mateo County, was not available.   But the first 11 months of the year saw 4,748 filings, running well ahead of the 4,190 filed in all of 2009.   The Oakland division, which covers Alameda and Contra Costa counties, had 15,031 bankruptcy filings last year, a record number and up almost 20% from 2009.   The bankruptcy court's Bay Area divisions are actually faring better than the state.   California bankruptcies were up 25% from a year earlier, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.   Nationally, the number of bankruptcies was up 9% over 2009, with 1,530,078 in 2010 compared with 1,407,788 the year before."

Hans A. von Spakovsky _Fox_
BirthRight Citizenship is a fundamental misunderstanding or perversion of the 14th amendment
"The 14th Amendment doesn't say that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens.   It says that 'All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside'.   That second, critical, conditional phrase is conveniently ignored or misinterpreted by advocates of [expansive] 'birthright' citizenship...   This amendment's language was derived from the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which provided that 'All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power' would be considered citizens.   Senator Lyman Trumbull, a key figure in the adoption of the 14th Amendment, said that 'subject to the jurisdiction' of the U.S.A. included not owing allegiance to any other country.   As John Eastman, former Dean of the Chapman School of Law, has said, many do not seem to understand 'the distinction between partial, territorial jurisdiction, which subjects all who are present within the territory of a sovereign to the jurisdiction of that sovereign's laws, and complete political jurisdiction, which requires allegiance to the sovereign as well'.   In the famous Slaughter-House cases of 1872, the Supreme Court stated that this qualifying phrase was intended to exclude 'children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States'.   This was confirmed in 1884 in another case, Elk vs. Wilkins, when citizenship was denied to an American Indian because he 'owed immediate allegiance to' his tribe and not the United States.   American Indians and their children did not become citizens until Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.   There would have been no need to pass such legislation if the 14th Amendment extended citizenship to every person born in America, no matter what the circumstances of their birth, and no matter who their parents are."

Phyllis Schlafly _Jacksonville Observer_
Clearly detaching anchor from babies is long over-due
"The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, over-ruled the Dred Scott decision wherein the U.S. Supreme Court declared that African-Americans could not be citizens.   Those who support court-made law should forever be reminded of Abraham Lincoln's warning that if we accept the supremacy of judges, 'the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal'.   The 14th Amendment denied citizenship to American Indians, even though they obviously were 'born' in the U.S.A., because they were subject to the jurisdiction of their tribal governments.   Congress did not grant citizenship to American Indians on reservations until 1924, 56 years later.   Babies born in the U.S.A. to illegal aliens are clearly citizens of their mother's country, so granting U.S. citizenship creates the possibility of dual citizenship, which the United States has never recognized as valid.   To become a U.S. citizen, immigrants are required by our law not only to swear allegiance to the United States but also to absolutely renounce any and all allegiance to the nation from which they came."

2011-01-14 07:09PST (10:09EST) (15:09GMT)
Andy Arnold _DC Examiner_
HB1465 would block illegal aliens from admission to VA colleges and universities
Dave Gibson: Virginia Beach VA Examiner
"Another bill, HB1934, introduced by delegate Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) would require the superintendent of the state police to sign on to the federal 287 (g) program.   Under the program, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would allow the local authorities to perform some federal immigration law-enforcement functions."

Marc Kovac _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
Kasich: Auto-makers criticize business climate in Ohio

Robert Florida _New Jersey Institute of Technolgy_
Yet another guest-worker with a good-paying job many US citizens could do better

2011-01-14 12:01PST (15:01EST) (20:01GMT)
Jeannine Aversa _Knoxville TN News Sentinel_/_AP_/_Scripps_
Industrial production rose 0.8% in December

2011-01-14 15:00PST (18:00EST) (23:00GMT)
Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
GAO seeks H-1B visa reforms; Obummer/Holder DoJ seek visa law perversions
The Hill
Alice Lipowicz: Washington Technology
Tom Temin & Amy Morris: Federal News Radio
"[Over 14% of all initial petitions were submitted by cap-exempt employers.]   About half of the users work in computer-related occupations...   focuses many of its recommendations of what federal agencies can be doing better to gather data, report it, and coordinate...   One recommendation calls for creation of a centralized web-site where businesses would be required to post notice of their intent to hire H-1B workers.   This recommendation was endorsed by the DoJ.   Leon Rodriguez, the chief of staff of the DoJ's Civil Rights Division, wrote in a letter included in the report, that the web-site 'would help U.S. workers determine if they have been impermissibly replaced by H-1B visa holders and identify employers who may be engaged in a pattern of discrimination against U.S. workers'...   [DoJ also recommended] that all employers, before they hire an H-1B holder, 'should be required to test the labor market to determine whether qualified U.S. workers are available and to hire any equally or better qualified U.S. workers who apply'...   Between 2000 and 2009, the majority of approved H-1B workers were born in Asia, with India accounting for about 47% and China, the second largest, at 9%.   Over the same period, more than 40% of approved H-1B workers were approved to fill occupations in systems analysis and programming, the GAO reported...   54% of the workers from 2009 June to 2010 July 'were categorized as entry-level positions and were paid at the lowest pay grades allowed under prevailing wage levels'...   In a comparison of median annual salaries reveals that for systems analysts, programmers, and other computer-related workers, the GAO said that H-1B workers tended to earn less than U.S. workers, but some of this salary gap appears explained by differences in ages and experience, it noted.   The widest wage differential is for H-1B workers aged 40 to 50.   They had median reported earnings that were significantly lower than the median earnings of U.S. workers in these IT occupations, the GAO reported...   The GAO also found that over the decade, less than 1% of all employers with approved petitions were approved to hire almost 30% of all H-1B workers.   At least 10 of the top 85 H-1B hiring employers in 2009 were [bodyshops], of which 6 have head-quarters or operations in India.
From the Report: [Limitations in agency data and systems hinder tracking the cap and H-1B workers over time: The total number of H-1B workers in the U.S. at any one time -- and information about the length of their stay -- is unknown, because   (1) data systems among the various agencies that process such individuals are not linked so individuals cannot be readily tracked, and   (2) H-1B workers are not assigned a unique identifier that would allow for tracking them over time -- particularly if and when their visa status changes...
First, program oversight is fragmented and restricted.   For example, the DoL's review of H-1B applications from employers is cursory and limited by law to only looking for missing information and obvious inaccuracies.   Yet a recent DHS study reported that 21% of the H-1B petitions they examined involved fraud or technical violations.   Second, the H-1B program lacks a legal provision for holding employers accountable to program requirements when they obtain H-1B workers through a staffing company [bodyshop].   Officials from the DoL's investigative office reported receiving the bulk of their complaints from H-1B workers contracted by staffing companies.   Third, statutory changes made to the H-1B program have, in combination and in effect, increased the pool of H-1B workers beyond the cap and lowered the bar for eligibility.   Specifically, these changes have increased the available exemptions to the cap; offered unlimited extensions on the visa while holders apply for permanent residency; and broadened the job and skill categories for eligibility...
For prospective H-1B workers already residing in the United States, USCIS updates the workers' visa status without involvement from State...
Over the 10-year period [FY2000 to FY2009], about 94% of all submitted petitions (initial and extensions) were approved, with a high of 97% in fiscal year 2006 and a low of 84% in fiscal year 2009... between 3% and 5% of all employers were categorized as being either H-1B-dependent or willful violators between fiscal year 2002 and fiscal year 2008.   However, [DoL] does not require employers to report (and therefore Labor's data do not indicate) the proportion of H-1B workers that comprise each employer's work-force...
10 of the top 85 H-1B-hiring employers in FY2009 participate in [cross-border bodyshopping], of which at least 6 have head-quarters or operations located in India.   Together, in FY2009, these 10 employers garnered nearly 11,456 approvals, or about 6% of all H-1B approvals.   Further, 3 of these employers were among the top 5 H-1B-hiring companies, receiving 8,431 approvals among them...
21 of the 31 firms we interviewed individually reported that they had H-1B petitions denied due to the cap in years when the cap was reached early in the filing season.   In these years, the firms did not know which, if any, of their H-1B candidates would obtain a visa, and several (7) firms said that this situation created uncertainty that interfered with both project planning and candidate recruitment.   Two firms also said that delays in processing their petitions, such as requests for additional evidence, sometimes resulted in their candidates accepting other positions in the United States or abroad instead of waiting for a resolution.   In addition, two firms mentioned that in order to get the petition application in before the deadline, they [only] sometimes made job offers to candidates who required H-1B visas before they were certain of the need to hire them...
12 of the 14 large, multi-national firms we spoke with reported having found a way to hire a job candidate denied an H-1B visa due to the cap.   They did so, for example, by sending the candidate to work in an over-seas office and subsequently bringing him or her in on an L-1 visa, or by extending the [OPT] period allowed under their student visa for an additional year...
from a cohort of 311,847 approved H-1B petitions, we were able to obtain unique matches for 169,349 petitions from Homeland Security's US-VISIT data.   Of these, GAO found that 56,454 of the individuals listed on these H-1B petitions had submitted a petition for permanent residence by 2010.   Thus, at least 18% of the total cohort had applied for permanent residence by 2010.   Further, about half of those that applied had been approved for permanent residence by 2010, 45% were still pending, and just 3% had been denied...
According to a National Academy of Sciences study, the average length of post-doctoral positions in the biological sciences increased from an average of 24 months for cohorts graduating prior to 1965 to an average of 46 months for cohorts graduating in the early 1990s...
Benefit Fraud and Compliance Assessment (BFCA), Homeland Security examined 246 H-1B petitions for possible violations.   The BFCA found that 21% of H-1B petitions involved fraud or technical violations.   Examples of fraud include cases in which businesses listed on the LCA and I-129 did not exist; educational degrees were found to be fraudulent; signatures were forged on supporting documents; and H-1B workers were performing duties or receiving payment significantly different from those described in the applications.   As a result of the high rate of fraud identified in the BFCA, Homeland Security launched what it calls its Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program -- an ongoing initiative to visit work sites of H-1B-hiring companies considered to be at a higher risk for abusing the program, according to officials.   During fiscal year 2010, USCIS oversaw 14,433 H-1B site inspections, which resulted in 1,176 adverse actions...
among a cohort GAO reviewed, at least 18% [of H-1B recipients] applied for green cards within 6 years or less of the start date of their H-1B visas...
data show that over half (54%, 130,528) of the workers with approved LCAs from 2009 June through 2010 July were categorized as entry-level positions and were paid at the lowest pay grades allowed under the prevailing wage levels (see table 5).   This pay grade is designated for jobs needing a basic understanding of duties and the ability of the worker to perform routine tasks that require limited judgment.   In comparison, [29%, 69,806 were classified as "Qualified" to "perform moderately complex tasks that require limited judgment"; 11% are "Experienced" "with special skills or knowledge and sound understanding of occupation"; and] 6% of approved applicants [14,617] whose wages were reported on the LCA were paid within the top pay grade designated for ["fully competent"] workers that require sufficient experience and a high level of independent judgment.   In contrast to the H-1B visa program, temporary visa programs in other countries take steps to identify foreign workers with skills that are in short supply...
87,519 workers (initial and extensions) in 2009 were approved for visas to work for 6,034 cap-exempt companies...
between 2000 and 2008, the number of foreign workers issued L-1 visas -- which are not subject to a cap -- has increased by more than 50%.]"
GAO report highlights (pdf)
full report
Comments: Some reforms most needed and most likely to be effective at ending the abuses are:
1. a reduction in the numbers of E-3, F, H-1B, J, N al visas by at least 97%, and EB visas should be cut by at least 50%,
2. the employer should have to post a compensation bond,
3. some objective minimal standards for qualification, and
4. every visa applicant should have to pass a proper background investigation (the sponsor should have to cover 75% of the costs and the applicant 25%) and change of status applicants should have to pay for an incremental background investigation.
At this point, even a 20 year moratorium might not restore the US labor markets from their current dysfunctional state created by changes in federal statutes and regulations over the last 30-40 years which have actively encouraged bodyshopping and pension fund raids and discouraged employers from long-term employment and everyone from saving.
The problem is both domestic bodyshopping and cross-border bodyshopping and the off-shoring (and knowledge, intellectual property, strategic intelligence, and capital goods transfer) that the latter facilitates.
Even domestic bodyshopping is almost always a scam to misrepresent compensation to the worker in order to short him.   The total package of benefits, new-hire training, regularly scheduled training, training during slack times, vacation, relocation and other employer-required travel expenses, sick leave, stock shares, insurance (and how often that insuror/protection racket scams its policy-holders by taking premiums but not delivering fully or at all on legitimate claims), etc., must be considered.
"How come we all are happily shopping at WM when everything they sell is 'Made in India/China/...'"
Good question, but it's not "we all".   Some people are oblivious to the quality of products.   They don't think about how long a piece of clothing will last, or how well a tool or gadget is likely to work or for how long.   Some small fraction of it is understandable; information is valuable and it is expensive, so people don't invest time and effort necessary to buy the best at the best price.   They just grab whatever's convenient on the retail shelf at the most convenient store.   And many times you can go through store after store searching the shelves for a decent product and grumping at the managers at every one that what they're offering is over-priced trash or that it's made in Red China or wherever, but the managers don't change and they don't pass your comments up the line, either because they're afraid to or because they like things the way they are or because s/he has given up.
But another part of that pattern is the result of government over-spending and the inflation it has caused since the 1930s.   A manufacturer can raise his price in line with the decrease in value of the currency, or he can skimp on the quality of materials and workmanship or the quantity in a package.   Many times people fail to realize they're getting less per dollar, just as the body shopped often fails to recognize that his total life-time compensation is being clipped.   But some have also given up and are resigned to being abused; they don't stand up and object.
IT Recruiter wrote: "it is often hard to find qualified people to fill open IT positions...   We need people who can write cutting edge android applications, enterprise service bus software etc."
So, how are Android and iPhone programming different from any other that it can't be picked up in a substantive, 2-3 week nuts and bolts training class?
More often, I see people recruiting for things that should not, for professional ethics reasons, be done at all (e.g. most CRM, enterprise, HRMS, RFID, kkklub kkkard, surveillance systems, and social networking).
The GAO mentions additional useless "attestations", and "labor market tests.   Both have been shown to be totally ineffective, and the immigration lawyers openly declared that the PERM process labor market test (for change of status to a green card) is a "charade", that they have no intention to carry out conscientiously, or seriously consider US candidates, regardless of ability and willingness to work at local market compensation levels.
GAO reports that some executives have requested that, instead of an annual dead-line and window, they would like to have a quarterly window, and a way to exress their priorities.   Eliminate the vastly excessive and stretchable visa limits, and instead auction off 167 H-1B visas (or 350 aggregate E-3, H-1B, J and L visas) each month to the highest bidders, with the bid amount being depositable with DHS in 4 easy weekly payments and then doled back out for the visa recipient's pay and benefits for the 10-month term of the visa, thus ensuring that the visa applicants are more likely to be "best" or "brightest", that they be paid competitive market rates for "best" or "brightest" workers, and that good and bright US workers not be harmed.
They executives also whine about needing to provide information to corroborate their LCA claims and the visa applicants' claims.   This could be neatly solved by requiring every visa applicant to pass a proper background investigation before a visa can be approved, with the sponsor and applicant sharing the costs between them on a fixed percentage basis.
In the GAO report, they discuss giving out visas to people who want to found businesses with US financial backing.   That's backwards.   They should be bringing financial backing in from outside the USA to add to the US economy.   The report says: "it would be useful to have a venture backing requirement with a relatively low threshold so that the visa would be available to early-stage innovators".   US citizens with great business ideas but without their own capital are called "employees"/ "intrapreneurs"... or "unemployed", even "homeless", and non-citizens should not be more favorably treated than citizens.
In the section comparing compensation by age, GAO failed to look at the 50-59, 60-69, and 70-79 age ranges.


2011-01-14 06:05PST (09:05EST) (14:05GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
CPI up 0.5% in December; core up 0.1%
Knoxville TN News Sentinel/AP/Scripps

2011-01-14 06:20PST (09:20EST) (14:20GMT)
Jeffry Bartash _MarketWatch_
Retail sales increased 0.6% in December
San Jose CA Mercury "News"/AP

2011-01-14 08:08PST (11:08EST) (16:08GMT)
Steve Goldstein _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 74.5 in December to to 72.7 in early January
Federal Reserve Board St. Louis

Brett French _Billings MT Gazette_
All-terrain wheel-chair for camping and fishing

Janet Napolitano, who has long opposed border fences is now scrapping Boeing virtual fence and going off-the-shelf
Jeremy Pelofsky: Reuters
"The project, begun in 2006 and run by Boeing Company, has cost about $1G and was designed to pull together video cameras, radar, sensors and other technologies to catch illegal immigrants and smugglers trying to cross the porous border.   Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said commercially available surveillance systems, unmanned aerial drones, thermal imaging and other equipment would be used instead, suggestions made by critics of the Boeing SBInet program...   An assessment of the Boeing program released by DHS found that $1G was spent to cover just 53 miles in Arizona.   The new approach should cost less than $750M to cover the rest of Arizona's border, some 323 miles, DHS said."

_Inside Futures_
Strong demand means grain rally has legs

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Union bosses target Girl Scouts and Salvation Army
Katie Gage: Town Hall: Union bosses go after property owners, businesses & Girl Scouts

William L. Anderson
Krugman's twisted faerie tales

2011-01-14 (5771 Shebat 09)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Exposing the puppet-masters
"Israel is, finally, investigating how fifth-columnist non-profits are being funded. So why are pols crying foul?"

2011-01-14 (5771 Shebat 09)
David Stanowski _Galveston TX Economic Report_
growing Galveston's population
"In a recent article by professor Edward Glaeser, he rejects the Conventional Wisdom of nicer weather, lower business taxes, fewer regulations on business, and right-to-work laws, and argues that the secret is low relative housing prices; a metric known as housing affordability.   Glaeser noted that many high-growth states like Arizona, Georgia, and Texas have lower family incomes than low-growth states, like Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York which confirmed the fact that people were NOT migrating to the high-growth states based on a quest for higher income.   The attraction was how much house they could buy with what they were able to earn.   Housing Regulations, which are very strict in the Northeast and on the West Coast, but looser in the Sun Belt, explain the relatively abundant housing supply in the Sun Belt..."

Proposed Bills 2011

S&P 500(SPX)1,293.24
10-year US T-Bond(UST10Y)3.33
crude oil(CLG11)$91.54/barrel
reformulatedgasoline(RBG11) $2.49/gal
swissfrancsperdollar 0.9638
indianrupeesperdollar 45.20
mexicanpesosperdollar(MXN) 12.039

I usually get this info from MarketWatch.

Proposed Bills 2011

  "In just the last few months we have seen a number of new banking initiatives that promise to lower the cost of doing business on the Net.   First Virtual's payment system costs ~$0.31 per transaction.   The digicash, ecash, & Visa/Microsoft systems should lower this cost even more." --- Bob LeVitus & Jeff Evans 1995 _WebMaster Macintosh_ pg 200  



2011-01-14 16:03PST (2011-01-14 19:04EST) (2011-01-15 00:04GMT)
_Investor's Business Daily_
Reset the "Reset": New START isn't worth the paper it's printed on and never was

2011-01-14 21:09PST (2011-01-15 00:09EST) (2011-01-15 05:09GMT)
David Skolnick _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
Health Care Tax Credit and the Trade Adjustment Assistance due to expire in February

2011-01-14 16:11PST (2011-01-14 19:11EST) (2011-01-15 00:11GMT)
_Investor's Business Daily_
The only way to go green: Food shortages that don't have to be

Steven Mufson _Washington DC Post_
Global effort to calm food prices

Rob Rogers _Billings MT Gazette_
Some smaller schools in non-urban areas bristle at new school meal requirements

Proposed Bills 2011

  "In 19th century Meiji Japan, despite having the disadvantage of a far smaller existing industrial base than 20th century Russia, incentives were provided which improved agricultural production, and productivity in fact doubled between 1885 and 1915, in complete contrast to the results obtained in the USSR.   Yet the enserfment or dispersal or deaths of the free peasantry were designed not merely to destroy any independent economic forces but also to finance socialist industry -- so that millions of tons of grain were exported [from the USSR] to pay for foreign machines while the famine raged." --- Robert Conquest 2005 _The Dragons of Expectation: Reality and Delusion in the Course of History_ pg102  



Marshall Allen _Las Vegas NV Sun_
Indentured Doctors

Proposed Bills 2011

  "In the message of 1806 he [Jefferson] had pointed to the reduction of the national debt and a growing surplus of revenues and encouraged congress to consider how future revenues (all from custom duties) might be employed.   He suggested their application, after the appropriate constitutional amendment, 'to the great purposes of the public education, roads, rivers, canals, and such other objects of public improvement as it may be thought proper to add to the constitutional enumeration of federal powers'." --- Noble E. Cunningham 1987 _In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson_ pg321 (quoting Thomas Jefferson 1806-12-02 6th annual message in Ford _Works of Jefferson_ vol10 pp317-318)  



2011-01-17 02:36PST (05:36EST) (10:36GMT)
Jonathan Adams _Global Post_
Red Chinese thug Hu Jintao coming to the USA this week to conspire with ObaMao

2011-01-17 02:37PST (05:37EST) (10:37GMT)
Hanna Ingber Win _Global Post_
India trying to grow its own Ivy League
"The new universities will be public non-profits but given 'generous' financial support, the ability to access external funding and 'total autonomy to free them from the shackles of government control', the minister said during a speech this month.   Despite some fears in the United States that its education system is falling behind and the nation is becoming less competitive, things are not rosy here either.   There is a huge need in India for more access to quality higher education.   As Vivek Wadhwa, a visiting scholar at University of California at Berkeley, wrote in Foreign Policy, 'India and [Red China's] successes aren't due to their education systems, but despite them.'   India has a select few elite schools that offer top quality education, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management.   However, the vast majority of students attend colleges and universities that offer a mediocre education at best, say education specialists.   At the bulk of these schools, specialists say, classes are large, resources are few, facilities are rundown and students and even teachers have poor attendance.   These colleges also face criticism for teaching solely for an end-of-year exam, rather than teaching students to value intellectual curiosity, develop their creativity or learn critical thinking.   'We may have large numbers of schools and colleges and universities, but we have essentially dumbed them down over the years.   We give out degrees, but we are not necessarily producing scholars.', said Rajeev Gowda, a professor of economics and social sciences at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.   Even the elite schools, he said, do not offer a quality of education and research facilities comparable to top institutions in the West.   And only about a quarter of Indian graduates are employable, according to Human Capital, a consulting arm of Mercer.   Like most challenges in India, higher education faces a problem of numbers.   Despite the government's subsidizing of the system, only about 12% of the country's 90M college-age citizens attend college.   If India wants to continue its GDP growth rate, which is expected to reach 8.75% in 2011, it must increase the number of students it sends to college in 2014 by another 8M, Karan Khemka of the consulting group Parthenon Group said in a Forbes India report.   These students will be needed for India to develop a 'high-skilled labor force' and support its 'growth trajectory'.   Similarly, the National Knowledge Commission has called for more than a tripling of universities to 1,500 to meet India's human resources needs.   The government aims to increase the proportion of students enrolled in colleges and universities to 30% by 2020, according to the minister...   Furthermore, the students who traditionally have had access to higher education have come from only certain segments of society: notably, the urban, wealthy and higher caste, according to G.G. Wankhede, a professor in the Centre for Studies in Sociology of Education at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences."

2011-01-17 06:00PST (09:00EST) (14:00GMT)
extreme weather events spark fear of global food shortage

2011-01-17 09:34PST (12:34EST) (17:34GMT)
Jill R. Aitoro _DC Business Journal_
H-1B employers dodge program compliance

Chelsea Krotzer _Billings MT Gazette_
Red Cross showing signs of recovering from economic disaster
"Financial problems, including a debt of more than $200K in the mid-2000s, led to the closure of offices and staff lay-offs statewide.   The Billings office closed in 2008 September.   A number of volunteers left after receiving news that the physical office was closing.   Two years later, CEO Rod Kopp said things were starting to look up.   After running in the red since 2000, the organization ended the most recent fiscal year in the black.   Volunteer numbers have tripled over the past 2 years.   Kopp said the Red Cross is now functioning with about 300 volunteers statewide, with 20 of them based in Billings...   Before the closure of the Billings office, there were seven offices statewide.   Now there are 3 -- in Bozeman, Great Falls and Missoula."

Robert P. Murphy _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
Is there a conservative case for QE2?
"it's production that is the real obstacle; consumption can take care of itself."

Heide B. Malhotra _Epoch Times_
Corporate espionage traced to Red China
"China stealthily integrated itself into America's telecommunications market over the past several years and is taking advantage of the United States' superior name brand to further its goals, alleges a U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) report this month...   A major issue is that [Red China] aggressively bulldozes its way into every conceivable market, most importantly the technology sector, crushing its competitors with cheaper subsidized products (often filching the technology from foreign companies doing business in [Red China]), forced technology transfer, cyber attacks, corporate spying, or acquisition of foreign companies...   Experts suggest that one tool of the espionage trade is cyber espionage, a highly effective tool that has been employed a number of times and was more often than not found to originate in [Red China]...   In 2010, Canadian cyber attack experts discovered spyware nicknamed 'GhostNet'.   The spyware was found to originate from Hainan Island Internet accounts, where the [Red Chinese] army intelligence is located...   Thousands of Chinese students are trained in the United States with the hope of landing a job in a Western firm.   These individuals could become moles for the [Red Chinese] government by integrating themselves into a company, which would allow them to steal trade secrets, according to the USCC...   The [Red Chinese] Huawei Technologies Co. has been trying to purchase U.S. technology firms without success so far.   In 2008, Huawei gave up in its quest to buy 3Com Corp. because of the CFIUS investigation into links between Huawei and the [Red Chinese] military.   Trade experts allege that [Red Chinese] companies, once they gain a foot-hold in a foreign company, appropriate company trade secrets, set up a separate company, and commence production of the same product."

William L. Anderson
Just who is conducting a war on logic?
"Krugman claims that he is fighting against a 'war on logic' by declaring war on... logic."

2011-01-17 (5771 Shebat 12)
Jeffrey Fleishman & Amro Hassan _Jewish World Review_
Will revolt in Tunisia inspire others?

Proposed Bills 2011

  "Instead of being enclosed in a poppable pod, wild wheat and barley seeds grow at the top of a stalk that spontaneously shatters, dropping the seeds to the ground where they can germinate...   human farmers reversed the direction of natural selection by 180 degrees: the formerly successful gene became lethal, and the lethal mutant became successful.   Over 10,000 yeas ago, that unconscious selection for non-shattering wheat and barley stalks was apparently the first major human 'improvement' in any plant.   That change marked the beginning of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent." --- Jared Diamond 1997 _Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies_ pg120  



Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
new GAO report is profoundly disappointing
I've received several e-mail messages about the new GAO report, "H-1B VISA PROGRAM Reforms Are Needed to Minimize the Risks and Costs of Current Program".   Most have said, "Typical bland GAO report", referring to the understated tone typically used by the GAO, a congressional research agency.   But from my point of view, the situation is far worse.   Though there is material of value in the report, I am profoundly disappointed.
In spite of the controversy surrounding the H-1B program, one thing that is not in doubt is that the main claim of those who wish to rein the program is that H-1B is used by employers as a vehicle for obtaining cheap labor.   The GAO team that performed the research for this project knew that too, of course, as evidenced by the fact that, if appendices and background material such as the legal history of the visa are excluded, over half of the report concerns the H-1B wage issue.   (The remainder is on employer complaints about the program.)   IOW, the GAO definitely "gets it" in terms of wages being the central issue in the eyes of the critics.
Given that, why did the GAO completely ignore the key point on the wage issue -- the loop-holes in the statutes and regulations that enable employers to under-pay H-1Bs in full compliance with the law?   And they did know about the loop-hole issue:
I was interviewed by the GAO team in 2009 September.   As I recall, the interview lasted about 2 hours, with the loopholes being the most important part of the discussion.   Indeed, I recall being pleased that the head of the team had done her home-work, and pointed out even before I did that in my writings I've emphasized that under-payment of H-1Bs is a loop-hole issue, not an enforcement issue.   In a followup e-mail message to the head of the team after the meeting, I thanked her for understand this absolutely key point.
H-1B employers are required to pay the "prevailing wage", a legal term.   Due to the loop-holes, the legal prevailing wage is typically well below the true market wage.   I explained to the research team exactly how the loop-holes work, such as the fact that the OES wage does not take into account "hot skills", which on the open market can command wage premiums of 20% or more; in other words, just that one loophole is already enabling a substantial underpayment, and there other various others.   And this point about skills is accentuated by the fact that the GAO report repeatedly quotes employers as saying they hire H-1Bs because the latter have skill sets that Americans don't have.
The GAO team didn't have to take my word for this.   They could have read the statutes and regs themselves, and then consulted with immigration lawyers for details.   Perhaps most importantly, they could have heeded the GAO's own 2003 report (which I'm sure I pointed out to them), which stated
Some employers said that they hired H-1B workers in part because these workers would often accept lower salaries than similarly qualified U.S. workers; however, these employers said they never paid H-1B workers less than the required wage.
That passage illustrates that the legally required wage (the prevailing wage) is below the true market wage.
The research team also was probably aware of [Cohen & Grigsby's 7th annual seminar on employment and immigration law] in which a prominent law firm discussed loop-holes in prevailing wage [along with PERM process loop-holes].   (They were discussing green cards rather than H-1B, but it's the same loopholes.)   I also pointed them to former industry CEO [cross-border bodyshopper] Vivek Wadha's writings, in which he states that loop-holes are used to underpay H-1Bs.
Once again: The central point of criticism of H-1B is wages, and the key point on wages is the legal loopholes.   For the GAO to ignore this was unconscionable.   And on the contrary, they devote many pages to the enforcement issue, which again is a NON-issue; in fact, the GAO's 2006 audit found the compliance rate to be quite high.   Well, of course it's high -- why should an employer risk debarment from the program when he can already make out like a bandit just by using the legal loop-holes, perfectly safely?   To add insult to injury, the report then proposes that compliant employers be "rewarded" by subjecting them to a more lax procedure, a surreal "reward" in view of the above.
BTW, when I spoke at a recent conference on immigration at UC Berkeley, I made this same point about prevailing wage, as I always do.   During the Q&A, there was a question from Angelo Paparelli, a very prominent immigration lawyer and pro-H-1B political activist.   He said, "I agree with you that the prevailing wage is below the market wage, but that problem is solved by the requirement that the employer pay either the prevailing wage or the actual wage, whichever is higher."   The "actual wage" he was referring to is the average wage of workers in the same job with the same employer.   I replied that there are loop-holes there too, such as the fact that the H-1B's job can be defined in such a way that the the H-1B is the only one with that job; indeed, the DoL web page notes this.   In the LCA data, the employer's prevailing wage and actual wage are typically the same.   So it's a non-issue.
The team also did a simple analysis comparing H-1B wages with those of U.S. workers.   I'm sorry to be so critical, but the fact is that here again they dropped the ball, because their analysis does not take education into account.   This failure is remarkable, because they did emphasize the fact that H-1Bs as a group have more master's degrees and so on than the U.S. workers (pp.89-90).   So, when the team found that in the younger age groups, the H-1Bs are paid about the same as the Americans, that means the H-1Bs are under-paid.   Granted, the data they used for H-1B wages did not include the education variable, but there are other data sets they could have used that give both visa status and education (National Survey of College Graduates), and the CPS data they used does enable proxies for H-1B status, as I've shown in my own analyses.
Well, then, what did the GAO do well?   They covered the age issue fairly well, and in more depth than I would have thought.   There is a considerable discussion on this (though of course not going further that simply reporting "Many labor advocates believe..."), and Figures 16, p.89, is wonderful.   They show age distribution histograms for H-1Bs in dark blue, and then display the histograms in upside-down mode for the Americans below in light blue.   Well, guess what -- in all but one case, the two histograms are almost like 2 pieces of a jig-saw puzzle that fit neatly together.   In other words, if you move the light blue histogram up, just above the dark blue one, you more or less get a rectangle!   A very stark illustration of the fact that the H-1Bs are young and the U.S. workers old, an excellent pictorial for those who contend that above all, the H-1B work visa is really about age -- it gives employers a way to avoid hiring older U.S. workers.   Indeed, you can see in the figures the cutoff point at age 35, the number I always use in my writings.
The report also discusses at some length the point first brought up in John Miano's research, which showed that the vast majority of H-1Bs are hired into very low-level positions.   In fact, most are at Level I, officially defined by the DoL as needing a "basic understanding of duties and perform routine tasks requiring limited judgment".   This belies the industry lobbyists' claims that H-1Bs are hired because they are experts that can't be found among the U.S. work-force.   The GAO stops short of concluding this, though, using hedging language.
Though I may be biased, I felt that the GAO did not use hedging language when reporting the concerns of the main-stream industry, especially start-ups.   The GAO accepted without any question whatsoever the claims that start-ups need someone to be productive the day they're hired (impossible, for many reasons), that Americans can't learn new skills quickly on the job, etc.
The only segment of the industry that the GAO seemed to be critical of was the bodyshops, referred to by the GAO as "staffing agencies".   As I've mentioned many times in the last two years or so, in certain circles of government and academia, a "conventional wisdom" has developed in which Tata Consultancy Services et al are considered the Bad Guys, while Intel etc. are viewed as the Good Guys.   This image has actually been carefully fostered by Intel etc., and unfortunately has been fed by the Programmers Guild and other labor advocates.   As I've explained before, this image is false; the main-stream firms abuse the H-1B program just like the bodyshops do, albeit hiring a higher class of worker.   And of course, concomitant with this image is that the bodyshops are violating the rules, which in fact they generally are not.   Unfortunately, the GAO appears to have bought into this view that the staffing agencies are the bogeymen.
I was pleased to see that the GAO did mention the awful situation regarding science post docs, and did imply that H-1B plays a role.   On the other hand, they failed to note the NSF's advocacy of H-1B as a way to flood U.S. university grad programs with foreign students in order to keep PhD wages down.
The GAO recommended that there be a national web page showing which employers intend to hire H-1Bs in which jobs, so that American workers can apply.   I've suggested this too, but it would be of limited usefulness, since employers would overdefine job requirements and because they can legally reject qualified Americans anyway.
On that latter topic, the DoJ's letter responding to the GAO, included in the report, recommends legislating a labor market test requirement for H-1B.   Sadly, the DoL did not agree, presumably again because they believe the start-ups' claim to need speedy response to their H-1B applications.
Overall, though the report does contain some positive material, they fail on the most important point, concerning the loop-holes, which form the lynch-pin of H-1B.   This is inexcusable.

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Inflation and Price Levels are two different things
"Price increases in goods arising from an imbalance of supply and demand are not inflation.   Inflation is over-expansion of the money supply, resulting in the dollar's declining purchasing power vis a vis the purchasing power of other currencies.   Focusing, as the Federal Reserve does, on its index of core inflation -- various prices excluding food and fuel -- fails to measure the extent of inflation.   As monetary inflation proceeds, prices of different commodities and manufactured goods may or may not rise in the short run.   Not all prices respond equally or at the same time."

Steven Malanga _City Journal_
State government budget gimmicks

2011-01-18 01:01PST (04:01EST) (09:01GMT)
Michael Hughes _Examiner_
Red China has been plundering US technology with impunity
Said Kim Berry of the Programmers Guild: "This is economic war.   Yet Congress admits Chinese students into our top universities then issue them temporary work visas to give them on the job training (displacing qualified American graduates from the job market) -- then they return to China and engage in economic war against us.   Would we bring terrorists into the U.S. and train them at Camp Pendleton? If not, what is the difference? What is our Congress thinking?"

_FAIR US_/_Right Side News_
FAIR Releases Immigration Reform Agenda for the 112th Congress; Texas Governor Calls Sanctuary Cities "Emergency" Priority; Kentucky Senate Makes First Move in Immigration Crack-Down; Chicago City Council Urges Feds to Halt Deportations; FAIR Releases Chesapeake Bay Study

Jennifer Booton _Fox_
GE makes deal to build gas turbines in Red China

2011-01-18 01:46:10PST (04:46:10EST) (09:46:10GMT)
Frank Michael Russell _San Jose CA Mercury "News"_
Apple had record 2010Q4: sold 4.1M Macs, 16.2m iPhones, 7.3M iPads, 19.45M iPods, netting $6G in profits
Dan Gallagher: MarketWatch

2011-01-18 05:27PST (08:27EST) (13:27GMT)
Ned Hunter _Knoxville TN News Sentinel_/_Scripps_
TVA to start up solar power plant this week
Ned B. Hunter: Jackson TN Sun

"Silver Shield, Don't Tread On Me" _Business Insider_
And now for my next magic trick... no inflation!

2011-01-18 09:50PST (12:50EST) (17:50GMT)
Ed Marcum _Knoxville TN News Sentinel_/_Scripps-
E&E Manufacturing investing $6M in metal stamping capacity at Athens TN plant

2011-01-18 09:48PST (12:48EST) (17:48GMT)
Irwin Kellner _MarketWatch_
Fed continues to pick our pockets: The incredible shrinking dollar
"the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER). It tracked consumer prices over the 20-year period 1990-2010.   During the past decade alone, AIER calculates that the dollar has lost a thumping 20% of its purchasing power.   Since 1990, the overall loss is nearly 30%.   Most prices covered by the study rose, obviously some by more than others.   According to the AIER, prices increased the most for items that were heavily influenced by government policies or subsidies.   These included tobacco, up 378%, college tuition and fees, up 286%, and hospital, nursing-home and adult-day-care services, up 269%.   Many food items are heavily subsidized by Washington.   Not surprisingly, most of these had larger-than-average price increases...   Needless to say, the AIER report also takes aim at the Federal Reserve.   It points out that since the Fed was created back in 1913, the dollar has lost more than 95% of its purchasing power.   A big chunk of this decline, 70%, has occurred since 1978 -- when the Fed was directed by law to conduct monetary policy with a goal that specifically included stable prices."

2011-01-18 10:00PST (13:00EST) (18:00GMT)
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols _Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
FB continues to attack privacy

2011-01-18 15:13PST (18:13EST) (23:13GMT)
Russ Britt _MarketWatch_
regulators approve transfer of ownership of NBC from GE to Comcast for $14G

Michelle Malkin _V Dare_
Leftist advocates of initiation of force and fraud point fingers

Stephanie Weaver _Cumberland PA Sentinel_/_Lee_
Police track cellular phones

Helene Cooper & Mark Landler _NY Times_
US government, executives asking Red Chinese thug Hu Jintao to stop blocking ability to sell US products in China
"A series of trade restrictions imposed by the [Red Chinese] government within [Red China], including administrative controls, requirements to transfer sophisticated technology, state subsidies to favored domestic companies and so-called indigenous laws meant to favor home-grown businesses, have angered many American manufacturing and high-tech companies, which are rapidly finding themselves cut out of the world's fastest growing market...   Last year, Jeffrey R. Immelt of G.E. complained to a meeting of business leaders in Rome that it was getting harder for foreign companies to do business in [Red China], and he expressed a growing irritation that [Red China] was protecting its own national companies at the detriment of American companies.   Google last March moved its Chinese service out of mainland China to avoid censorship rules...   Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner signaled the Obama administration's stance in a speech last week, when he said that the United States would grant [Red China] more access to high-tech American products and expand trade and investment opportunities within the United States only if [Red China] opened its own domestic market to American products."

Robert Wenzel _Economic Policy Journal_
Barack Obama versus Ludwig von Mises

2011-01-18 (5771 Shebat 13)
Warren Richey _Jewish World Review_
Is US government unfairly hiding behind state-secrets privilege, or are they too lax?: Supremes to hear case

2011-01-18 (5771 Shebat 13)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
Tunisia's lessons for US government

2011-01-18 (5771 Shebat 13)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Budget crisis rhetoric part1
"Bankruptcy conveys the plain facts that political rhetoric tries to conceal.   It tells people who depended on the bankrupt government that they can no longer depend on that bankrupt government.   It tells the voters who elected that bankrupt government, with its big spending promises, that they made a bad mistake that they would be wise to avoid making again in the future.   Legally, bankruptcy wipes out commitments made to public sector unions, whose extravagant pay and pension contracts are bleeding municipal and state governments dry.   Is putting an end to political irresponsibility and legalized union racketeering dropping dead?...   But the amount of money it would take to keep the poor from starving in the streets is chump change compared to how much it would take to keep on feeding unions, subsidized businesses and other special interests who are robbing the [tax-victims] blind...   Bankruptcy says: 'We just don't have the money.'   End of discussion.   Bail-outs say: 'Give the [tax-victims] a little rhetoric, and a little smoke and mirrors with the book-keeping, and we can keep the party rolling.'"

Proposed Bills 2011

  "Each year, the United States issues about 70K patents, only a few of which ultimately reach the stage of commercial production...   Even inventions that meet the need for which they were initially designed may later prove more valuable at meeting unforeseen needs." --- Jared Diamond 1997 _Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies_ pg244  



Tony Blankley _Town Hall_
Avoid GOP timidity in 2011 and 2012

Michelle Malkin _Harrisonburg VA Daily News Record_
Tragedy strikes, leftist advocates of initiation of force and fraud blame the right

2011-01-19 15:42PST (17:42EST) (22:42GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Red Chinese want even more of USA's cutting-edge technology, US wants to sell more consumer goods in Red China, more respect for intellectual property
"The U.S. has been pressing [Red China] to remove barriers to trade and to prevent intellectual piracy.   For its part, Beijing wants greater access to U.S. technology and fewer impediments to investment."

Anne Hart _All Voices_
Are out-sourced jobs & foreign students on H-1b visas working in the USA competing with recent technical college graduates in America?

Toni Bowers _Tech Republic_/_Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
CareerBuilder poll on IT compensation and hiring trends in 2011

Cost for dole to children of illegal aliens in Los Angeles county about $600M
"Los Angeles county supervisor Michael Antonovich released new statistics this week showing social spending for those families in his county rose to $53M in November, putting the county government on track to spend more than $600M on related costs for the year -- up from $570M in 2009... Antonovich's figures, though, center on costs generated by American-born children of illegal immigrants [i.e. anchor babies]."

Lloyd E. Eskildson _Basil and Spice_
While Americans debate, Red Chinese economy moves ahead
"In 2002, only 10% of multi-nationals off-shored IT work; by 2008 it was 70%, per KPMG. KPMG sees the worldwide market rising to over $1T by 2012 ($250G in 2008).   'Business Process Out-Sourcing' (BPO) is also growing, and predicted by KPMG to overtake IT out-sourcing within 5 years..."

Philip Klein _American Spectator_
Repeal of unconstitutional National Socialist Health Care Perversion/ObummerDoesn'tCare through "reconciliation"

Philip Klein _American Spectator_
Repeal of unconstitutional National Socialist Health Care Perversion/Obamacare passed in US House 245-189

Joseph Lawler _American Spectator_
Obama's misdirected and thus failed jobs search

Aaron Goldstein _American Spectator_
Canadian cabinet minister standing up to Iran
"Well, this was too much to bear for Moore who has issued an order that the National Archives show the film ['Iranium'].   Moore stated, 'The Iranian Embassy will not dictate to the Government of Canada which films will or will not be shown in Canada.'   Moore has represented his Vancouver area constituency in the House of Commons under the Conservative Party banner since 2000 and was appointed Minister of Canadian Heritage by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008 October."

Susan Jones _Cybercast News Service_
DHS says they are unable to track the numbers of foreigners working in the USA on H-1B visas
"GAO explained that H-1B petition approvals are captured in Homeland Security's CLAIMS 3 data system.   But visas for H-1B workers living abroad at the time of approval are captured by a State Department data system that is not linked to CLAIMS 3.   Further, information on visa holders who actually enter or exit the United States is tracked by Homeland Security's US-VISIT program, which is not linked to CLAIMS 3, either.   Moreover, 'Because these data systems do not use a unique, person-centric identifier for H-1B workers, Homeland Security cannot determine, for example, how many approved H-1B workers living abroad actually received an H-1B visa and/or ultimately entered the country', the GAO report says.   'Similarly, Homeland Security does not track H-1B workers after their visas expire, and cannot readily determine if and when H-1B workers apply for, or are granted, legal permanent residency, leave the country, or remain in the country on an expired visa.'...   The H-1B program does not require employers to provide evidence that they have first tried to hire a U.S. worker [citizen or green card holder]..."

William L. Anderson
Robert Wenzel against the march to worsening socialism

Robert P. Murphy
Kalling All Keynesians

Robert P. Murphy _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
Austrian economics applied to construction employment (with graphs)
"There's just one problem with Sumner's argument: housing starts are not synonymous with construction jobs.   In fact, from 2006 January to 2008 April -- the period when Sumner thinks construction workers must have been laid off in droves because housing starts fell by more than half -- US construction employment only fell from 7.6M to 7.3M...   in the real world, and particularly in the housing sector, time and capital structure are crucial.   In the years leading up to 2006, housing starts steadily expanded.   Now if they had simply leveled off in 2006 January -- so that (annualized) housing starts every month thereafter remained at the permanently high plateau of 2.3M -- construction employment would have continued rising after that date...   construction workers are needed to maintain an existing stock of housing..."

2011-01-19 (5771 Shebat 14)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Why we're a divided nation
"Some Americans have strong, sometimes unyielding preferences for Mac computers, while most others have similarly strong preferences for PCs and wouldn't be caught dead using a Mac.   Some Americans love classical music and hate rock and roll.   Others have opposite preferences, loving rock and roll and consider classical music as hoity-toity junk.   Then there are those among us who love football and Western movies, and find golf and cooking shows to be less than manly.   Despite these, and many other strong preferences, there's little or no conflict.   When's the last time you heard of rock and roll lovers in conflict with classical music lovers, or Mac lovers in conflict with PC lovers, or football lovers in conflict with golf lovers? It seldom if ever happens.   When there's market allocation of resources and peaceable, voluntary exchange, people have their preferences satisfied and are able to live in peace with one another."

2011-01-19 (5771 Shebat 14)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Budget crisis rhetoric part2
"We all know not to take politicians' rhetoric at face value.   But not enough of us have yet learned not to take media rhetoric at face value either, even when it appears in what looks like a 'news' story, but is actually a disguised editorial on the front page...   Massive government intervention has made San Francisco one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.   Creating token amounts of taxpayer-subsidized 'affordable housing' does not undo the over-all damage that politicians have done by their severe restrictions on building.   Before the era of massive government interventions in the housing markets, beginning in the 1970s, San Francisco housing cost about the same as housing elsewhere in the country.   After the environmentalists and others pushed for heavy-handed government restrictions on building anything anywhere, San Francisco housing prices rose to become more than triple the national average...   Subsidizing one particular location can indeed improve that particular location...   I have seen bananas growing in the Bronx, subsidized by the [tax-victims'] money.   They were probably the most expensive bananas ever grown...   we are not talking about creating wealth.   We are talking about transferring wealth from one community to another, with no net increase -- and doing so at a cost of billions of tax dollars."

Proposed Bills 2011

  "Most [tax revisions] didn't improve the system.   They made it more like Washington itself; complicated, unfair, cluttered with gobbledygook & loop-holes designed for those with the power & influence to hire high-priced legal & tax advisors." --- Ronald Reagan 1985-05-28  



2011-01-20 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
DoL OPA press releases
historical data
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 550,594 in the week ending Jan. 15, a decrease of 212,504 from the previous week.   There were 652,327 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.7% during the week ending Jan. 8, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,609,826, a decrease of 167,288 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 4.5% and the volume was 5,791,080.   The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Jan. 1 was 9,607,423.   Extended benefits were available in AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, and WI, during the week ending January 1.   States reported 3,719,607 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending Jan. 1, a decrease of 53,485 from the prior week.   There were 5,392,352 claimants in the comparable week in 2010.   EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.   [Note that the population used for calculating the "insured unemployment rate" changes
to 132,623,886 beginning 2007-10-06;
to 133,010,953 beginning 2008-01-05;
to 133,382,559 beginning 2008-04-05;
to 133,690,617 beginning 2008-07-05;
to 133,902,387 beginning 2008-10-04;
to 133,886,830 beginning 2009-01-03;
to 133,683,433 beginning 2009-04-04;
to 133,078,480 beginning 2009-07-04;
to 133,823,421 beginning 2009-10-03;
to 131,823,421 beginning 2009-10-17;
to 130,128,328 beginning 2010-01-02;
to 128,298,468 beginning 2010-04-03;
to 126,763,245 beginning 2010-07-03
to 125,845,577 beginning 2010-09-25.]
EUC (Excel)
more graphs

Richard McCormack _Manufacturing & Technology News_ vol18 #1
Indian out-sourcing firms abuse H-1B to displace US high-tech work-force
"IBM now has more people working in India than it has working in the United States, according to data compiled by The Economist magazine.   In 2003, IBM's U.S. head-count was 135,155, while it had 6K workers in India.   By 2009, its U.S. head-count had shrunk to 105K, while its Indian work-force numbered 100K.   Deloitte has tripled its head-count in India, from 11K to 33K.   'None of this gets reported in the United States.', says Hira.   India now has 2M workers employed in the IT off-shoring and business process off-shoring industries.   An estimated 65% of those workers directly serve the U.S. market, according to data from the NASSCOM, the Indian IT trade association.   'You are talking about 1.3M jobs off-shored to India.', says Hira.   'Part of the problem is that because no one is paying attention to what is going on, the industry can make up whatever statistics it wants.   So the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is using the mass lay-off figures [from the BLS] claiming that only 10K jobs have been off-shored and they are able to get away with it.'   In the meantime, U.S. companies like Accenture, IBM, EDS, HP are reporting record profits.   Accenture's head-count in India surpassed its U.S. head-count in 2007.   The company has 50K workers in India."

2011-01-20 12:27PST (15:27EST) (29:27GMT)
Daon Bauder _San Diego CA Reader_
Qualcomm Named One of Fortune's 100 Best Employers

2011-01-20 13:16PST (16:16EST) (21:16GMT)
"Seriously Sandeep" _Global Post_
The Indian conception of history

Daniel Pearl was murdered by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Douglas Stanglin: USA Today/Gannett
Ashish Kumar Sen: Washington Times
Peter Finn: Washington DC Post
Flavia Krause-Jackson & Tony Capaccio: Bloomberg
All Head-Line News
Meredith Buel: Voice of America
Spencer Ackerman: Wired
Benjamin Witte: Lawfare
Jim Kouri: Examiner
"The Pearl Project's 3-year probe alleges that the 4 radical Islamists convicted for the Pearl murder were part of the abduction plot, but were not the men directly responsible for the beheading of the kidnapped journalist.   The Pearl Project identified 27 men who played a part in Pearl's execution.   Many remain free.   Members of at least 3 militant groups took part in the crime, including a team of kidnappers led by British-Pakistani Omar Sheik, who offered to introduce Pearl to militant leaders, and a team of killers led by al-Qaida strategist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.   An Egyptian named Saif al-Adel told Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to make the kidnapping an Al Qaeda operation."
Asra Q. Nomani & Barbara Feinman Todd

2011-01-20 14:16:24PST (17:16:24EST) (22:16:24GMT)
_San Jose CA Mercury "News"_/_AP_
Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs's compensation up 1% in 2010 to about $17.6M

2011-01-20 11:29PST (14:29EST) (19:29GMT)
Henry McDonald _Manchester Guardian_
50K Irish people will seek to leave this year in search of work: Gaelic Athletic Association declares shortage
"The Economic and Social Research Institute has also projected that a further 25K jobs will be lost -- most of these in the construction, financial and public sector.   The 50K people the ESRI expects to leave compares to 44K who emigrated in 1989, the peak year for emigration during the 1980s.   According to the GAA's figures Gaelic football clubs across Ireland are losing 250 players a month to emigration."

Andrew Cline _American Spectator_
What the Tucson shootings reveal about our political culture is its gross opportunism

George Neumayr _American Spectator_
The spectrum of collectivism

Lisa Zyga _PhysOrg_
Italian scientists claim to have demonstrated cold fusion
"Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi of the University of Bologna announced that they developed a cold fusion device capable of producing 12,400 W of heat power with an input of just 400 W.   Last Friday, the scientists held a private invitation press conference in Bologna, attended by about 50 people, where they demonstrated what they claim is a nickel-hydrogen fusion reactor.   Further, the scientists say that the reactor is well beyond the research phase...   the scientists estimate that electricity can be generated at a cost of less than 1 cent/KWh...   currently manufacturing a 1 MW plant made with 125 modules.   Although the reactors can be self-sustaining so that the input can be turned off, the scientists say that the reactors work better with a constant input.   The reactors need to be refueled every 6 months..."

Patrick J. Buchanan _V Dare_
How the Red Chinese must see us
"Why should [Red China] abandon a trade policy that is working marvelously well for them, and adopt a trade policy that is failing dismally for us?   Does that make sense?   Why should any nation emulate the U.S. trade policy of the Bush-Clinton-Bush era that has stripped us of a third of our manufacturing jobs and made us dependent on [Red China] and the world for the needs of our national life and the borrowed money to pay for them?   Why would [Red China], seeking to make herself an independent and self-sufficient nation, adopt a policy that cost us our independence?"

2011-01-20 16:52PST (2011-01-20 19:52EST) (2011-01-21 00:52GMT)
Norm Augustine _Forbes_
America Is Losing Its Edge In Innovation
"Almost every adult I've talked with in these countries shares a belief that the path to success is paved with science and engineering.   In fact, scientists and engineers are celebrities in most countries.   They're not seen as geeks or misfits, as they too often are in the U.S.A., but rather as society's leaders and innovators.   In China, 8 of the top 9 political [thug] posts are held by engineers.   In the U.S.A., almost no engineers or scientists are engaged in high-level politics, and there is a virtual absence of engineers in our public policy debates...   if American students have a negative impression -- or no impression at all -- of science and engineering, then they're hardly likely to choose them as professions."
Slash Dot

Joe Guzzardi _Nooz Hawk_
The ever-expanding pool of cheap labor and the case for fewer visas
"According to the State Department's Visa Office, nearly 1M new temporary work permits were issued during the past 12 months.   None of them, however, could be considered essential.   During the same calendar-year period and consistent with the 1M permits issued, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, foreign-born employment rose 4.1% while 1.4M discouraged native Americans stopped looking for work."

William L. Anderson
Yes, Paul Krugman, Bob Murphy exists... and he is a better economist than you are

Proposed Bills 2011

  "[Bad things were going on] all this in a time of 'maximum prosperity'.   Why? Because we were only interested in economic indices.   We forgot that the purpose of the economy is not just improving the index.   It is to improve prosperity along with social stability & social contentment." --- James Goldsmith  



Marc Kovac _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
JobsOhio still getting started

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
report on H-1B and off-shoring
I think readers will find the [linked] article connecting H-1B and off-shoring to be of interest.   Although I must make my usual point that the problems of H-1B go FAR beyond simply the offshoring issue and FAR beyond the Indian bodyshops, the fact remains that offshoring is a very real issue, and I thank professor Hira for his continuing work on this issue.
While we're on the subject of sending U.S. jobs over-seas, Obama made a curious remark yesterday in his joint press conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao (my emphasis added):
Calling for the two countries to "break out of the OLD STEREOTYPES that somehow China is simply taking manufacturing jobs and taking advantage of low wages", Mr. Obama said during a meeting with Mr. Hu and American and Chinese business leaders that it was important for American companies to be allowed into China's vast market-place.   The relationship between the powers, he said, must be "much more complex" than one in which America functions simply as a market for Chinese products.
Sound familiar? Well, it should, because here's what Obama said in India just 2 months ago:
The mutual benefits of trade "might not be readily apparent" to both Americans and Indians, Obama said.   "There are many Americans whose only experience with trade and globalization is a shuttered factory or a job that was shipped over-seas."
In the U.S. there was a caricature of India as a land of call centers and back offices that cost Americans their jobs, he said.   While in India, Obama said many see the arrival of American companies and products as a threat to the livelihood of small shop keepers.
"These OLD STEREOTYPES and old concerns ignore today's reality.", Obama said.   "Trade between our countries is not just a 1-way street of American jobs and companies moving to India.   It is a dynamic 2-way relationship that is creating jobs, growth and higher standards in both our countries."
The two speeches are similar in other ways, for instance Obama praising China's long history of civilization yesterday and doing the same for India back in November.
I suppose there's nothing wrong with recycling a good speech occasionally, but in this case it makes one wonder whether the Obama admininstration has any desire at all to rethink the issue of off-shoring.   It further suggests to me that Obama is simply trapped, powerless to fight the business lobby.   The dejected thoughts I wrote in my Fourth of July posting last year seem optimistic by comparison today.
Mr. Hu, for his part, wasn't any better, asserting that "China supports free trade".   No they don't, not in view of the heavy tariffs they impose on imports.   Do your teenage kids like to shop at H&M, The Gap and so on?   Well, don't send them to Shanghai, where I spent a week recently (and a week last June), because even sale prices at those stores are much higher than ordinary prices in the U.S.A.   Upon asking why, I was told that it was due to the heavy tariffs, something like 50%-100%.
Richard McCormack: Manufacturing & Technology News: Indian Out-Sourcing Firms Use H-1B To Displace U.S. High-Tech Work-Force

2011-01-21 09:51PST (12:51EST) (17:51GMT)
_Boston Globe_/_AP_/_Providence RI Journal_
former Hasbro chair Verrecchia resigned from RI EDC
"Hasbro chairman Alfred J. Verrecchia, the man who became vice chairman of the state's Economic Development Corporation when former governor Donald L. Carcieri over-hauled the agency a year ago, has resigned from his leadership position on the EDC board."

2011-01-21 11:26:44PST (14:26:44EST) (19:26:44GMT)
_San Jose CA Mercury "News"_/_AP_
BAE to buy Fairchild Imaging for $86M

Doug Blackburn _Tallahassee FL Demagogue_/_Gannett_
FSU president Eric Barron wants 15% tuition increases in each of the next 4 years
"Tuition and fees for in-state under-graduates at FSU is just under $5,200 for the 2010-2011 academic year, up more than $1,200 from the 2008-2009 school year but almost $2,500 below the average at public universities nationwide.   Barron explained that the increases at FSU are essentially a non-issue for in-state students because the vast majority are Bright Futures scholars, or are covered by Pell grants and other scholarships."

2011-01-21 12:22PST (15:22EST) (20:22GMT)
_Daily Illini_/_AP_
Jimmy John Liautaud says huge increase in Illinios income extortion may force firm to move HQ to Florida
Don Dodson: Urbana IL News-Gazette
Ann Weiler: Crain's Chicago IL Business
Stephen Di Benedetto: Chicago IL Sun-Times
M.K. Guetersloh: Bloomington IL Pantagraph
Tax Foundation

Cheta Chauhan _Hindustan Times_
Ramesh-backed paper questions another IPCC/warmist claim

Mike Dennison _Billings MT Gazette_
Citizens line up to urge nullification of unconstitutional National Socialist Health Care Perversion (ObummerDoesn'tCare)
"Briscoe and more than 20 people testified in favor of Senate Bill 161, sponsored by senator Verdell Jackson, R-Kalispell, to declare the 2 new federal health care laws 'null and void' in Montana.   Jackson told the Senate Public Health Committee that the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reserves powers to the states that are not explicitly spelled out for the federal government -- and that the health reform laws go beyond what the federal government is allowed to do."

Ira Mehlman _FAIR US_
New Report Draws Direct Link Between Immigration and Unemployment for American Workers
"While unemployment in the United States remains stubbornly high (officially 9.4%, but actually closer to 17% when discouraged workers and people relegated to part-time work are factored in), the picture for immigrants is much brighter.   According to a forthcoming report from the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, some 1.1M legal and illegal immigrants entered the U.S. labor force between 2008 and 2010.   Over the same period, employment for American workers declined by 6.26M jobs.   In an interview with Reuters, the author of the study, Andrew Sum, makes it clear that the hiring boom for new immigrants -- about 35% of whom are in the country illegally -- has come directly at the expense of American workers.   'Employers have chosen to use new immigrants over native-born workers and have continued to displace large numbers of blue-collar workers and young adults without college degrees.', states Sum."

William L. Anderson
Krugman's off-the-mark anti-Red China screed

Proposed Bills 2011

S&P 500(SPX)1,283.35
10-year US T-Bond(UST10Y)3.41
crude oil(CLH11)$89.11/barrel
reformulatedgasoline(RBG11) $2.42/gal
swissfrancsperdollar 0.959
indianrupeesperdollar 45.63
mexicanpesosperdollar(MXN) 12.0452

I usually get this info from MarketWatch.

Proposed Bills 2011

  "The 2 leading schools of advocates for property rights, those of the eastern merchants & of the southern planters, collided over slavery.   The issue arose when the Convention reached the problem of a basis of representation for the lower House; it came up again over the apportionment of taxation; & indirectly when the taxation & representation of the populations of the future western states had to be determined.   It was no part of the doctrines of Gouverneur Morris that the rights of men to security in the property they had inherited or earned included a right to property in other men, particularly in a gov't which claimed to have been founded in defence of liberty.   He waxed eloquent & bitter in his denunciations of slavery, of the slave trade, & of any compromise that would give countenance to either." --- J.R. Pole 1966 _Political Representation in England & the Origins of the American Republic_ (discussing debates over the Articles of Confederation)  



Linda M. Linonis _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
Tutoring tool works well
"It's called Study Table, and it's one-on-one assistance from a teacher in a specific subject.   Students can participate in Study Table to do their home-work, use a computer, get extra help in a specific subject or to take a test.   Ryser said the free tutoring also is a good resource to prepare students for the Ohio Graduation Test.   Study Table takes place from 14:20 to 15:30 Mondays through Fridays when school is in session.   Stacy Adduci is the math and science teacher, and Judy Barber teaches English and social studies.   The teachers, who alternate sessions, provide help in their areas of expertise.   Ryser said the Study Table has been used about 6 years or so in the junior- and senior-high grades."

2011-01-22 15:25PST (18:25EST) (23:25GMT)
Jame Smith Hopkins _Baltimore MD Sun_
For older, out-of-work residents, the future looks grim: Some becoming homeless
"Nationwide, the average unemployed worker age 55 or older looked for a job without success for 10 months last year, the longest stretch on record.   Also, age-discrimination complaints to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission spiked when the recession hit, jumping from 19K to more than 24K in fiscal 2008, and have remained at an elevated level ever since...   Johnson found that only a quarter of workers age 50 to 61 who lost jobs between the middle of 2008 and end of 2009 were re-employed within a year.   For those 62 and up, the results were even worse, with 18% landing a new job within a year...   What she wants, what she desperately needs, is a job with a regular pay-check."

Proposed Bills 2011

  "[T]he real question is, how do we *improve* our standard of living?   There is only one proven way, & that is by raising the amount of capital invested per worker.   Economic progress is achieved when business increases its profits by providing customers with better products at cheaper prices.   That requires a direct investment in capital.   Those who post-pone consumption now & invest their savings productively will be rewarded with higher consumption later." --- Mark Skousen "The Mother of All Myths" 1994 May _The Freeman_ pg 264  



Lorna Thackeray _Billings MT Gazette_
Rural fire departments struggle to recruit volunteers: of 11K fire-fighters in MT about 550 are paid

Virginia Paguirigan-Sasser _Beaumont TX Enterprise_
When will we try to stop illegal immigration?
"Disturbing trends among certain immigrants have inspired me to write down my thoughts on the matter.   There are those who refuse to learn English, as everyone else had to do.   If someone is unable to learn the language, it's being responsible to bring one's own interpreter to assist.   Others work illegally and pay no taxes, thereby contributing nothing to this country but rather taking away from it.   Most disturbingly, is when the illegal couple have children while they're here, and are automatically provided benefits for which they have no legal standing.   This type of erroneous leniency must stop, and the laws enforced, not ignored as if they don't even exist.   Any country should not be held hostage by the words/deeds of any ethnic group, legal or otherwise.   We help when needed, within the framework of the country's laws.   If the laws seem restrictive or unjust, we work through the legal process to change them.   Otherwise, we all need to follow them.   If we arrive as guests, let us be good guests and make neither threats nor demands.   If we apply and become citizens, our loyalty is now to our new home country as we swore."

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Eric Hobsbawn: yet another radical leftist hero of the Obama admin

_Jewish Refugees_
Massacres of Jews by Muslims before 1948
map (1600 x 737 pixels)

Proposed Bills 2011

  "The discovery of machinery, which materially improves home manufactures, always tends to raise the relative value of money, & therefore to encourage its importation.   All taxation, all increased impediments, either to the manufacturer or the grower of commodities, tend, on the contrary, to lower the relative value of money, & therefore to encourage its exportation." --- David Ricardo 1817 _The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation_ pg 139  



2011-01-23 16:16PST (2011-01-23 19:16EST) (2011-01-24 00:16GMT)
Slobodan Lekic & Dusan Stojanovic _Bloomington IL Pantagraph_/_AP_
Red China's new stealth fighter likely uses US technology
David Axe: Wired
Wall Street Journal
Fox/AP: Former B-2 stealth bomber engineer to be sentenced Monday for selling secrets to Red China 2011-01-23 17:50PST (2011-01-23 20:50EST) (2011-01-24 01:50GMT)
_Bloomington IL Pantagraph_
Black Data Processing Associates will hold IT show-case at Heartland Community College's Work-Force Development Center 2011-01-29

2011-01-23 20:18PST (2011-01-23 23:18EST) (2011-01-24 04:18GMT)
Blake Pon _Daily Illini_
Surge in federal student aid applicants leads to state Monetary Award Program grant cut for Spring semester
"After a significant increase in FAFSA applicants over the past year, cash-strapped Illinois' legislators have decided to cut the Monetary Award Program, or MAP, grant by 5% for the spring semester, causing hundreds of thousands of Illinois students to lose at least a portion of their financial aid...   The MAP grant awards a maximum of $4,968 over 2 semesters for those who qualify.   The cut applies to both semester and quarter schools.   Semester schools will receive a 5% reduction to payment on second semester claims while quarter schools will be subject to a 3.7% reduction to payment on both second quarter and third quarter claims.   There was an unexpected 45% increase in FAFSA applications received in the week between the announcement of the suspension date and the suspension date itself, according to collegezone.com, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission's website that helps Illinois students find and track financial aid.   According to the state, the $400M earmarked for MAP grants for the 2010-2011 school year were all claimed by April 18 of last year...   As of Dec. 31, 131,338 Illinois students eligible for the grant were turned away, and 722 University students had their MAP money suspended."

Ken Catalino _Beaumont TX Enterprise_
wrecking ball hits jackass in head, GOP operator says "Forget it... We'll never get its attention."

Dan Rather _Hufington Post_
Help wanted... but not US citizens

Frosty Wooldridge _News with Views_
72M immigrants have been added to USA population in 24 years

_Right Side News_
New study shows foreign workers gain jobs while US citizens lose them
"A new study from Northeastern University shows that between 2008 and 2010, 1.1M newly arriving aliens gained jobs while U.S. household employment declined by 6.26M. (Reuters 2011 Jan. 20)   The study, commissioned by Reuters and performed by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, reviewed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau data for 2008 through 2010.   The study shows that aliens who are still landing jobs tend to be young, uneducated, unskilled or semi-skilled.   Of the 1.1M aliens landing jobs in the past 2 years, 42% were under 30 [years old].   Yet, the unemployment rate for all Americans without a high school diploma in this age group is extraordinarily high, about 27% to 29%.   Particularly noteworthy, the study found that many of the jobs obtained by these aliens were in the construction industry—jobs that are routinely sought by American workers. (Ibid)   Professor Andrew Sum, Director of the Center for Labor Market Studies, said it was fair to estimate that around 35% of these workers were [illegal aliens -- either by illegal entry or with expired visas]."

Robert P. Murphy _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
Austrian Business-Cycle Theory

William L. Anderson
Does anyone understand the meaning of "competitiveness"?
"OK, I start this post by agreeing with Paul Krugman this morning that the term 'competitiveness' is hackneyed and essentially meaningless."

Proposed Bills 2011

  "This measure will, indeed, produce some temporary inconvenience; but promises lasting good by promoting among ourselves the establishment of manufactures hitherto sought abroad." --- Thomas Jefferson 1808-05-25 at Philadelphia, PA (quoted in Stephen Skowronek 1993 _The Politics Presidents Make_ pg 462)  



2011-01-24 22:01PST (2011-01-25 01:01EST) (2011-01-25 06:01GMT)
Michael Lind _Salon_
Innovation and education won't save the USA's economy: What Red China's dictators and the USA's executives don't want you to know
"It will be years if not decades before the flow of inventions and intellectual property across the Pacific reverses its course, if it does at all.   Indeed, the piracy of American intellectual property, tolerated by the Chinese dictatorship as part of its industry-poaching national development policy, is itself testimony to the superiority of America's innovation policies.   If [Red China] could compete with the U.S.A. in innovation, it would not need to steal...   The overall PISA scores of American students are lowered by the poor results for blacks and Latinos, who make up 35% of America's K-12 student population.   Asian-American students have an average score of 541, similar to those of Shanghai, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.   The non-Hispanic white American student average of 525 is comparable to the averages of Canada (524), New Zealand (521), and Australia (515).   In contrast, the average PISA readings score of Latino students is 446 and black students is 441.   Unlike Asian immigrants, many of whom are college-educated professionals, Latino immigrants tend to be less educated than the American average.   And both Latinos and blacks are disproportionately poor.   American students in schools where fewer than 10% of the students needed subsidized lunches score 551 on average -- above the average of any of the 34 developed countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).   Americans in schools where at least 75% of students qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches average 446, second to last among students in OECD countries.   America's public school system works quite well, for non-poor native students...   25% of Americans graduate from college, compared to only 5% of Chinese [who, with heavy subsidies, earn the equivalent of a US bachelor's degree]...   Alan Beattie: 'While the drive for currency legislation is noisy and conducted by practiced lobbyists in industries in steel and textiles that have canvassed for protection against exports, many US multi-nationals are far more interested in investing in [Red China] than exporting there.'"

2011-01-25 01:57:10PST (04:57:10EST) (09:57:10GMT)
Patrick May _San Jose CA Mercury "News"_
Yahoo! cuts more jobs as it copes with low revenues
"Yahoo said net income in the fourth quarter doubled to $312M, or 24 cents a share, compared with $153M, or 11 cents, in the year-ago quarter.   But net revenue fell 4%.   Excluding payments to its advertising partners, Yahoo's revenue was $1.21G, somewhat higher than the $1.19G analysts had expected.   In a positive sign for the company, display advertising continued to perform well, with 16% year-over-year growth in the quarter and 17% for the year...   The job cuts announced Tuesday represent less than 1% of Yahoo!'s global work force of roughly 13,500 workers.   The lay-offs come just weeks after Yahoo! announced it would lay off about 4%, or roughly 600 people."

Jeffrey R. Young _Chronicle of Higher Education_
Some leading tech colleges balk at TAA grant SCORM requirement

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Encroaching Socialism
"The New Deal's lust for regulation, evidenced by creation of hundreds of federal regulatory agencies, had deep roots all the way back to the original articulation of socialist theory in the first decade of the 1800s...   modern socialism's earliest articulator, Henri de Saint-Simon, noted by 1820 that socialism requires only the government's ability to regulate business...   An egregious example of that attitude is the Obama administration’s project to kill coal mining and to force Americans to use 'green' power and 'green' automobiles, deliberately overriding consumers' wishes.   If President Obama truly wants to restore American competitiveness in world markets, he will drop his competitiveness councils and vigorously wipe away his miasma of regulations, from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank financial markets red tape, and will take steps to confine the Federal Reserve's role strictly to maintaining a stable dollar and acting as lender-of-last-resort to sound banks engaged in non-speculative lending."

2011-01-25 09:28PST (12:28EST) (17:28GMT)
Leslie Horn _PC Magazine_/_Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
US army captain built iPhone app for use in the field
Joe McKendrick: SmartPlanet/Ziff Davis/CBS
Olivia Oran: The Street
Heather Schultz: Fort Wayne IN News-Sentinel
"Tactical Nav is an iPhone app that helps soldiers in mapping, plotting, and photographing waypoints on the field of battle.   Expected to be available in the App Store some time next month, it works like a wartime location-based service, conveying coordinates to supporting units.   'I've been an iPhone user for quite a while and I'm obviously a Mac guy.', Springer told CBS News.   'I'm a heavy pusher of the iPhone because of what it can do and I see the benefits, not only at home, but here in combat.'   It's a little more technical than the directions found in the average iPhone app.   Tactical Nav uses the phone's camera and GPS to do things like call in air support, direct artillery file, and relay information to others using the app.   Using a gridded map, it also recognizes specific latitude and longitude coordinates...   The 31-year-old from Ft. Wayne, Indiana said the idea for Tactical Nav came to him in a dream last July.   Springer used $26K of his own money to work with developers and a design company to realize that dream."

2011-01-25 12:29PST (15:29EST) (20:29GMT)
Larry Dignan _Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
Google claims they will do a record amount of hiring this year
Mike Swift: San Jose Mercury "News" (with graph)
"The company said it hired more than 4,500 folks mostly in 2010 in engineering and sales.   That tally was second to the 2007 mark when Google hired more than 6K people.   It sounds like Google will be pushing the 7K hire mark or more."

Rob Rogers _Billings MT Gazette_
National Science Bowl award-winner attended State of the Union address
"At one point, when Obama was speaking on the importance of science education, the camera cut directly to Nelson and lingered there for a few seconds while her name appeared on screen...   Nelson first caught the attention of the White House when she and her team from Will James Middle School competed last April at the National Science Bowl.   The super-light mini electric race car she and her teammates created won the top design award at the Science Bowl and got their team interviewed during the competition by the Discovery Channel.   The attention led to an invitation by the U.S. Department of Energy for Nelson to participate in the White House Science Fair in October, where she met President Obama and briefly chatted with him about the car and showed him how it worked."
At least 100 such such HS and university STEM students should have garnered similar attention.
Mike Dennison: MT governor Brian Schweitzer hits familiar themes in State of the State address, and unlike presidents and US House speakers he was not flanked by the symbols of fascism

William L. Anderson
A "war on demand" or a war against reason?

S.M. Oliva _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
FTC chair Jon Leibowitz says era of over-sized, over-coercive government is just beginning

Peter Brimelow _V Dare_
SPLC's Mark Potok inadvertently revealed agenda, motive, method
"the SPLC's just-issued report attacking the desperate efforts of American to protect themselves from illegal aliens at the local level, a result of Washington's paralysis.   The ultimate target ('Behind all of this stands one man') seems to be Kris Kobach, chief counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, whose election as Kansas Secretary of State last November was part of the immigration patriot movement's glacial but inexorable advance into politics, something the $PLC and its backers want to stop at all costs.   Kobach for President!...   are we not allowed to ask about the Treason Lobby's motives now? In which case, I will compound the offense: the 'European-American majority' is being abolished by immigration, which is a matter of public policy.   The onus is on those who favor that policy to explain their motives...   I can't think of another issue like immigration, where the American people feel so overwhelming one way, but the American elites so hysterically and intolerantly the other...   I never thought the reasonable arguments I presented would be met with such unscrupulous and sustained savagery...   I do now believe that achieving patriotic immigration reform will leave American politics and culture transformed much more radically, and painfully, than anyone now imagines.   Potok's arrogant intransigence is just another example of why I now believe the immigration debate is going to end in tears.   But it will end.   And for whatever is coming, the Treason Lobby has only itself to blame."

"not a lemming" _Word Press_
Hundreds of politicians' slush funds discovered
Benjamin Fulford

2011-01-25 (5771 Shebat 20)
Dennis Prager _Jewish World Review_
The One Thing You're Not Likely To See on TV at the State of the Union

2011-01-25 (5771 Shebat 20)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
New Heroes vs. Old
"kerosene lamps were a luxury of the rich in the 19th century, before John D. Rockefeller came along.   At the high price of kerosene at that time, an ordinary working man could not afford to stay up at night, burning this expensive fuel for hours at a time.   Rockefeller did not begin his life as rich, by any means.   He made a fortune by revolutionizing the petroleum industry.   Although we still measure petroleum in barrels, it is actually shipped in railroad tank cars, in ocean-going tankers and in tanker trucks.   That is a legacy of John D. Rockefeller, who saw that shipping oil in barrels was not as economical as shipping whole railroad tank cars full of oil, eliminating all the labor that had to go into shipping the same amount of oil in numerous individual barrels.   That was just one of his cost-cutting innovations.   If there was a better way to extract, process and ship petroleum products -- or more products that could be made from petroleum -- Rockefeller was on top of it.   Before he came along, gasoline was considered a useless by-product that petroleum refineries often simply dumped into the nearest river.   But Rockefeller decided to use it as a fuel in the refining process, which made it valuable, even before automobiles came along...   automobiles and electric lights were truly luxuries of the rich when they began.   Only after ways were developed to cut their costs drastically were such things brought within the reach of ordinary Americans.   Henry Ford's mass production methods cut in half the cost of producing the famous Model T Ford in just 5 years.   People who had once lived their entire lives within a narrow radius of a relatively few miles could now go see places they never knew about before...   In New York City, for example, the 40K horses that were the backbone of the city's transportation, before the automobile, produced 400 tons of manure per working day, along with 20K gallons of urine."

Proposed Bills 2011

  "The situation... has impelled us to apply a portion of our industry & capital to internal manufactures & improvements.   The extent of this conversion is daily increasing & little doubt remains that the establishments formed & forming... will become permanent" --- Thomas Jefferson 1808-11-08 (quoted in Saul Padover 1943 _The Complete Jefferson_ quoted in Stephen Skowronek 1993 _The Politics Presidents Make_ pg 462-463)  



David Skolnick _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
Kasich vows to contine trying to bring jobs into Ohio
"GM spent about $350M at the Lordstown plant to produce the Cruze...   But Kasich pointed to GM plant closings in recent years in the Cleveland, Dayton and Mansfield areas as evidence that the company has issues with doing business in Ohio...   GM has also closed plants in MI, TN, DE, VA and NY."

2011-01-26 03:07PST (06:07EST) (11:07GMT)
Hanna Ingber Win _Global Post_
wife-beating still commonly accepted in India

2011-01-26 06:21PST (09:21EST) (14:21GMT)
James Kendrick _Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
Software product down-loads increasing sharply; Tablets will fuel it further
"The latest numbers from Gartner show how big a business apps have become, with $5.2G generated in 2010.   The revenue generated by apps, both direct sales and ad revenue, is expected to almost triple in 2011 to over $15G."

2011-01-26 08:52PST (11:52EST) (16:52GMT)
Roger Harris _Knoxville TN News Sentinel_/_Scripps_
when it comes to converting its science and technology assets into jobs and companies TN still falling behind
Derek Thompson: The Atlantic
In Milken Institute's State Technology and Science Index.   TN fell from #34 in 2004 to #40 in 2008 to #41 in 2010.   #1 was MA, #2 MD, #3 CO, #4 CA, #5 UT.   "#18 New Mexico's Technology Ventures Corp.   In 17 years they've created over 110 private companies employing over 13,500 and raised a $1.2G in outside venture capital."   "Ohio sky-rocketed 7 places, from 36th place to 29th."   Florida was 29th in 2002, 32nd in 2004, 37th in 2008.   Georgia was 18th in 2004, 24th in 2008.
Millken press release
Ross C. DeVol, Kevin Klowden, & Benjamin Yeo report

Joe McKendrick _SmartPlanet_/_Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
Cheap, unethical CEOs concerned that "skills shortages" may hinder "multi-speed" economic recovery

Andrew Nusca _SmartPlanet_/_Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
USA is leading innovator, followed by Germany, Japan, Red China, South Korea, India, Sweden, UK, Israel... according to poll of STEM-stupid executives

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
The Obama state of mind address
"the statist paradigm of government permeated the president's State of the Union address."

Steven Malanga _City Journal_
Back-Door Over-Sized, Over-Coercive Government: Americans sent a small-government message in November, but Obama isn't listening
OMB Watch

2011-01-26 12:23:35PST (15:23:35EST) (20:23:35GMT)
_San Jose CA Mercury "News"_/_CA EDD_
San Jose jobs report

"MC Slim JB" _Boston MA Phoenix_
Flood of foreigners adds to ethnic restaurants
"Only a couple of decades ago, it was tough to find a Boston-area Indian restaurant serving anything beyond Punjabi and Mughal dishes, with perhaps a scattering of Goan vindaloos.   Southern Indian food debuted locally only 15 years ago.   Thanks to an influx of ex-pats [foreigners] and H-1B workers in recent years, regional diversity has further improved: it is now possible to find local exponents of Bengali, Pakistani, Hyderabadi, and Indian-Chinese cuisine, not to mention the occasional Mumbai street-food snacks.   We're seeing more halal options, better-quality buffets, more traditional preparations.   Even notoriously bland, meat-and-potatoes South Boston now has a good Indian take-out."

Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
Obama says H-1B and green card changes are a priority

Dave Gaubatz _Family Security Matters_
sleeper cells in the USA
"Non-profit organizations such as CAIR, ISNA, MANA, MSA, and several other Islamic based groups are in actuality simply fronts for Al Qaeda and Hamas.   The leadership within these groups receives funds and training from the Saudi government.   The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows these groups to operate freely throughout the USA and at American's [tax-victims'] expense.   Essentially the IRS grants the groups immunity and the authority to train, organize, and prepare for attacks against our country.   Why? Because CAIR and other such groups have a confidential informant network much better than even our FBI.   CAIR uses contractors such as Corey Saylor (Simple Resolve Company) to place interns into our elected official's offices, and into organizations such as the IRS."
Investigative Project: CAIR-Hamas-Muslim Brotherhood links
Discover the Networks: Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Discover the Networks: Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
Clarion Project: Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
Discover the Networks: Muslim Brotherhood (MB)

2011-01-26 (5771 Shebat 21)
Jay Weaver _Jewish World Review_
Miami man in court for attempting to arm West Bank terrorists
"Cuban migrant Yanny Aguila Urbay had been in the United States for six years when authorities say he met with an undercover police officer to discuss buying hundreds of stolen high-powered rifles, grenades and explosives to ship to the West Bank.   During a 2009 May meeting at Miami Jai-Alai, Aguila negotiated with the officer on behalf of a Hialeah, FL, man who wanted to supply the weapons to the Palestinian Authority, prosecutors say.   'If this is good, this could happen monthly.', Aguila told the undercover officer, Pete Perez, a police sergeant in North Miami Beach, as FBI investigators secretly taped him.   'I could get a shipment like this once a month.'   The sting operation against Aguila, 24, took center stage in Miami federal court Tuesday as Perez testified about his negotiations involving Aguila's alleged partner, Abdalaziz Aziz Hamayel, 23, a Palestinian national who pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in December.   That left Aguila standing trial on a charge of collaborating with Hamayel to possess and send the weapons -- including remote-control detonators -- over-seas...   In late August, Hamayel left Jordan for Chicago and then Miami, where he was arrested."

2011-01-26 (5771 Shebat 21)
Sheera Frenkel _Jewish World Review_
Israelis gird for violent spill-over of Lebanon crisis: Hillary Clinton suggests that U.S. aid and support could be at risk if Hezbollah goes too far
"As hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Lebanon to protest the naming of a Hezbollah-backed politician as prime minister, Israel beefed up security along its northern border...   The nomination of Hezbollah-backed Prime Minister Najib Mikati this week was seen as a victory for the Shiite group, while followers loyal to out-going premier Saad Hariri, a U.S. ally, took to the streets to protest."

2011-01-26 (5771 Shebat 21)
Miret El Naggar _Jewish World Review_
protesters take to the streets in Cairo and at least 6 other Egyptian cities, demand that Mubarak must go

2011-01-26 (5771 Shebat 21)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Can Our Union Be Saved?
"National debt is over $14T, the federal budget deficit is $1.4T and, depending on whose estimates are used, the unfunded liability or indebtedness of the federal government (mostly in the form of obligations for [Socialist Insecurity], Medicare, Medicaid and prescription drugs) is estimated to be between $60T and $100T.   Those entitlements along with others account for nearly 60% of federal spending...   The spending path that Congress has chosen for the last half-century is unsustainable...   For the past 30 years, federal tax revenues have averaged 18% of the GDP.   Federal spending, nearing 30% of our GDP, is the problem.   To get our economic house in order, there must be large spending cuts, not only in so-called discretionary spending but in non-discretionary spending as well.   To put this in perspective: Defense spending is called discretionary and totals $685G.   Our deficit is $1.4T.   Defense spending could be entirely eliminated and we'd still have a massive deficit.   Any congressman unwilling to make cuts in entitlement spending is not to be taken seriously about sparing our nation from economic collapse...   'For workers who earned average wages and retired in 1980 at age 65, it took 2.8 years to recover the value of the retirement portion of the combined employee and employer shares of their Social Security taxes plus interest.'...   In his speech to Virginia's ratifying convention, James Madison said, 'Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.'"

Proposed Bills 2011

  "Typically, it is far easier to interfere disastrously with complex systems than to improve upon them with naive experimentation...   So it is with much government economic planning & interventions to change behavior." --- James Dale Davidson & William Rees-Mogg 1994 _The Great Reckoning_ pg 282  



2011-01-26 21:04PST (2011-01-27 00:04EST) (2011-01-27 05:04GMT)
Denise Dick _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
Ursuline HS lauded for student's top ACT scores
"Ursuline High School is one of 29 Ohio schools recognized by the Ohio ACT for having a student who earned a top score on the college-admissions and placement exam.   Ursuline was the only Mahoning Valley school to earn the recognition.   The students who scored the high-composite 26 score were in the class of 2010...   The 2010 graduate who earned the top ACT score was MG. But he's not the first...   About 420 students attend Ursuline, and Fleming said the average scores beat both the state and national average on the ACT.   'Our overall composite is 22.5.', she said.   'The national average is 21.'   For students who adhere to the college preparatory curriculum at Ursuline, the average ACT score is 23.6, Fleming said...   Only 588 of the more than 1.5M 2010 graduates nationally who took the ACT earned a top score.   In Ohio, 38 high school graduates out of more than 89K tested in the graduating class of 2010 earned a top score on the ACT...   Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student's composite score is the average of the 4 test scores."

2011-01-26 22:00PST (2011-01-27 01:00EST) (2011-01-27 06:00GMT)
Jeffrey M. McCall _Providence RI Journal_/_DePauw U_
The rough road to "saving" journalism

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
Obama speech misses the mark on education and innovation
My heart goes out to President Obama.   His next 2 years will be enormously difficult.   Though he called for inter-party cooperation in his State of the Union address last night, the fact is that Congress has been in grid-lock for years, and I sense it will it intensify through 2012.   The Republicans will fight him on every issue, I fear [and I hope, because what the last few congresses and the last few presidents have most rushed through have had extremely bad effects on the USA].
But just importantly, Obama can't even formulate a good solution unless he understands what the problem is in the first place, and in my view, his speech shows that he and his advisers don't have a clue.   Mind you, most politicians in both parties, not to mention many if not most academics, don't get it either.
As predicted, one of the president's most central themes last night concerned education and innovation.   Yes, Obama said, globalization has sharply changed the rules of economics game, but if handled properly, American innovation, enabled via beefed-up math and science programs in the schools, plus fast-track green cards for STEM foreign students with degrees from U.S. universities, will win the day.   I'm sorry, Mr. President, it just ain't so.
In this message I'll discuss innovation, international math/science test scores, prestigious high school science contests, and so on, all topics Obama touched on last night.   But first and foremost, let's look at innovation.
I've been mentioning for a couple of years now that "innovation" has become THE buzzword in DC and in the related academic circles, largely because industry lobbyists found it to be a great vehicle for fulfilling their hidden agendas (such as the green card proposal).   But whether due to political expedience or intellectual laziness, no one seems to have taken a careful look at this innovation panacea.
Suppose for example Intel suddenly invents a miracle processor chip, 10 times as fast and using 1/10 the power of current chips.   Intel would likely have the chip manufacture and software development done in, say, VietNam and Russia.   The development of the chip itself, both original and ongoing, would be done largely by H-1Bs in the U.S.A.   This process is NOT a job producer for Americans.   And though the new chip would spark the creation of jobs in various other firms, the pattern would be the same -- the jobs created would largely be done by foreign nationals, either abroad or in the U.S.A.   Granted, such a pattern would not hold 100%, but the point is that innovation is definitely not the solution to our jobs problem, not in this new era of globalization.
By the way, a new book by the CEO of Dow Chemical warns that if manufacturing goes abroad, a large amount of R&D tends to go with it.   Every major tech firm has R&D centers in China and India.   Some readers may recall how I once laughed at one analyst who said that GE will send manufacturing abroad but will keep the design of, say, jet engines in the U.S.A.   I noted that GE in fact IS designing jet engines in Bangalore.   (And I couldn't resist cracking, "And this gives new meaning to Ross Perot's 'giant sucking sound'.")
Presidents tend to be rather insulated, but I think the odds are good that Obama is aware of the recent Evergreen Solar case in Massachusetts.   Normally Evergreen would be a presidential speech-writer's dream, combining innovation with greenness -- hey, a two-fer!   Nice web page, very impressive.   "Our manufacturing process produces 30% less CO2!", "Our panels produce more electricity!", "Smallest carbon foot-print!", Etc.
But there is one little itty bitty detail that keeps Evergreen from basking in the light of a State of the Union address: They're moving to China.   Not only are labor costs in China a small fraction of what they are here, but also the Chinese government outbid the Massachusetts government in terms of various subsidies.   Indeed, the Obama administration is looking into the possibility that the Chinese subsidies are so lavish that they violate WTO rules.   (See NY Times story.)   I won't even go into the issue of the Chinese government requiring that U.S. firms investing in China share their technology, enabling that "investment" to morph into competition in the future.
That's the innovation issue in a nut-shell, folks.   The answer to our economic mess is NOT innovation!   The only solution is to recognize and remedy the basic problem -- the willingness of American firms to locate all, or large sections, of their operations elsewhere in the world, and to hire foreign workers for those jobs they choose to keep in the U.S.A.   Innovation simply won't cut it, and it is either unconscionable or tragic (depending on whether the action is deliberate) to deceive the American people by claiming that innovation is our way out of this mess.
It's also unconscionable/tragic to imply that our K-12 schools have a "math/science deficit", and if only we remedy that, why, innovation and prosperity will follow.   I may have my own problems with the school system, but the fact is that the much-ballyhooed international test scores, such as PISA, are extremely misleading.
There are various issues that render the test scores noncomparable to ours: Schools in East Asia weed out their weaker students around ninth grade, they tend to cover various topics in earlier grades than we do, they "teach to the test" even more than we do, and so on.   But the biggest single difference is that we have a large underclass to deal with, and sadly it remains a major problem.
I've explained this before, but now there are excellent visual aids I can employ.   Let's start with the excellent chart in today's Wall Street Journal,
It's a map of the U.S.A., with the states color-coded for performance, blue for high scores and red for low scores.   Well, basically all the red states are ones with large Latino or African-American populations, thus showing at a glance that the problem, unfortunately, stems from our failure to serve our large under-class well educationally.   The main-stream kids are fine, as we'll see below.
A couple of months ago, the Atlantic Monthly reported that, no, it's not completely an issue of the under-class.   Their explanation was very weak, and most importantly, undermined by their own graphic.   Go to the Atlantic Monthly article.   In the drop-down menus next to "COMPARE", choose Washington DC and Hong Kong.   Well, guess what -- 37% of white students in DC scored at a high level in the PISA test, versus only 23.9% of all students in Hong Kong, the latter having one of the highest levels of performance in the world in PISA.   You'll find similar results for Taiwan.
Yes, the white kids in DC tend to come from well-educated families, sure (just as Shanghai, the only site for PISA testing in China, is by far the richest spot in China), but the salient point is that overall scores don't mean much in the case of the U.S.A., and thus the international comparisons are misleading.
I've mentioned before the research of professor David Berliner ("Averages That Hide The True Extremes" Washington Post, 2001 Jan. 28) that showed that those "blue states", if considered separate nations, would be second in the world only to Singapore in science scores.   Again, it's sad that this difference exists, but the point is that our main-stream kids are doing fine.
I'll return to the test score issue below, but while we're discussing our American youngsters, let's look at Obama's remark last night, "We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair."   I've discussed before why the science fairs are irrelevant, and even destructive in the cynicism they encourage for gaming the system.   But the subject has now taken on a certain urgency, as it has apparently captivated Obama.
Texas high school student and science fair winner Amy Chyao was invited by Obama to his State of the Union Address, even having her sit with the First Lady.   She had already met him as a prize winner of the fair.   According to a Dallas Morning News report on 2001 Jan. 24:
Obama was so impressed with Amy that he kept talking about her for days after he met her.   He even mentioned her in a speech when he traveled to another city.
I've no doubt that Ms. Chyao is an outstanding student with energy that would make Tiger Mom look like a slacker, but the blunt truth is that these science contests are basically shams.   Though the image projected is that of brilliant teen-agers coming up with breakthrough ideas, the actuality is that of teen-agers working as helpers in the labs of famous university scientists.   The kid joins the professor's team in a project already in progress, with the ideas already in place.   The professor finds a piece of the project that can be done without much background, and then the kid does the leg work, patiently going through hundreds of hours of boring lab work.
[And yet, it's good experience for the teen, and helps the professor move forward his research project.]   See for example [this story about an Intel finalist] with a relevant excerpt being:
Aditi Ramakrishnan, a semifinalist who researched toxicity of nano-particles in cosmetics, says she would have no project if it were not for the daily help she received from a team of nearby Stony Brook professors.   "I'm only 17.", she said.   "I didn't have the background to create the experiment.   I didn't know how to use the equipment.   I couldn't create the hypothesis."
Martin Rocek, a Stony Brook physics professor, picked a math project for Neal Wadhwa of Ward Melville.   "It happened there was a new development in the field that was not exceedingly technical.", says professor Rocek, who gave Neal private geometry tutorials and suggested several calculations to work out.   Those calculations broke new ground in the super-manifold field, but Neal says that at first, he didn't grasp what his answers meant.   "Professor Rocek told me the significance of what I'd found.", he said.   "I didn't know."

A reader comment on an article reporting on Ms. Chyao's prize-winning project sums it up:
Karim Stuart
I spent 7 years in grad school working on photodynamic therapy, specifically in the area of organic chemistry, making the drugs that do what she describes in the above article.   When I heard about her, I immediately wanted to know what a 16 year-old kid had accomplished in 1 summer -- that I didn't in 7 years.   Now I understand, she is just reporting the work of a group of scientists who have been working really hard at this for many years.

Again, these kids are outstanding students, no doubt about it.   They have to cogently explain their research to a group of judges, a very difficult and daunting task.   But Obama is wrong in assuming they're child geniuses, especially with the implication that they will provide the innovation he is counting on.
Now, concerning Obama's proposal to give fast track green cards to STEM foreign students with degrees from U.S. universities: Obama's phrasing (sadly, exactly from the list of talking points of industry lobbyists) was "It doesn't make sense to grant these students graduate degrees and then send them back home to compete with us."   Well, the correct comment would be, "[It doesn't make sense to add the vast majority of them to the US student pool.]   It doesn't make sense to add these people to the STEM labor pool, when we already have so many STEM experts with advanced degrees who are unemployed or under-employed."   And as professor Saxenian's research at UCB has shown, even those who do stay here often contribute expertise, investment funding and the like to firms in their home countries anyway.   Mr. Obama should also find it troubling that the reason we have so many foreign students in our university graduate programs is that the National Science Foundation, a key federal agency, actually planned it this way, with the goal of flooding the market in order to hold down PhD salaries; see for instance, this previous article.
One more point on the PISA test, and the stellar performance of the Shanghai students on it: I was in Shanghai 2 weeks ago (also last June).   It is a very, very dynamic place, with for example a subway system that's growing at the astounding rate of 1 or 2 new lines a year.   There are several excellent universities there, also showing the same dynamism.
But Obama hit the nail on the head when, referring obliquely to China, he said, "our [American] students don't just memorize equations, but answer questions like 'What do you think of that idea?   What would you change about the world?   What do you want to be when you grow up?', referring to the stifling of creativity that comes from China's rote-memory educational system.   (The Chinese government has been very concerned as well.)   I of course have been writing about China's 填鴨 ("stuff the duck") approach for years, but I was astonished in a visit I made to a large book-store in Shanghai.
At least 20% of the floor space was devoted to test preparation!   In a U.S. book-store, you would typically find 2 or 3 shelves of SAT practice books, but the Shanghai store had rows and rows of this "genre".   (Tons of books on learning English too, by the way, ranging in level from kids to adults.)
So, I thumbed through a few of the test prep books on math, and was shocked to find there were NO WORD PROBLEMS.   Everything was algebraic manipulation, no real life application at all, none of the problems like "Johnnie is 2 years older than Jill, and next year will be 20% older than she..."   All the problems were algebraic manipulations, using little tricks, some of which I'd never heard of, such as a "5 corner method".   Do enough of these for practice, and you can expect to do well on the tests, including the gao kao university entrance exam -- but you won't know anything.   Chen Lixin, an engineering professor in China, has complained that this "results in the phenomenon of high scores and low ability".
Upon returning to the U.S.A., I mentioned this to a colleague who is originally from Shanghai, and he confirmed the lack of application problems, and commented, "That's why grad students from [Red China] have such a hard time in the U.S.A."   He also sheepishly admitted that he didn't remember what the five-corner method was. :-)
My point is that I hope Obama meant it when he said that "memorizing equations" is not the route we want to go in.   As I mentioned, the Chinese government realizes it's wrong too, though it will be quite difficult for them to turn around a millenia-old cultural mentality.
Obama also mentioned China's super-computer, but curiously neglected to mention that it is constructed from American chips.   (I've discussed before why it's a non-issue to begin with; my earlier article about China's super-computer project.)
I apologize for the length of this piece, but I hope that you agree that these issues -- and most importantly, proper understanding of them -- are absolutely central.   Arguably we are at a crossroads, and unfortunately the president chose the wrong path.

2011-01-27 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
DoL OPA press releases
historical data
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 482,399 in the week ending Jan. 22, a decrease of 67,491 from the previous week.   There were 502,710 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.7% during the week ending Jan. 15, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,593,535, a decrease of 58,900 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 4.3% and the volume was 5,602,357.   The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Jan. 8 was 9,410,977.   Extended benefits were available in AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, and WI, during the week ending January 8.   States reported 3,783,493 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending Jan. 8, an increase of 63,886 from the prior week.   There were 5,348,277 claimants in the comparable week in 2010.   EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.   [Note that the population used for calculating the "insured unemployment rate" changes
to 132,623,886 beginning 2007-10-06;
to 133,010,953 beginning 2008-01-05;
to 133,382,559 beginning 2008-04-05;
to 133,690,617 beginning 2008-07-05;
to 133,902,387 beginning 2008-10-04;
to 133,886,830 beginning 2009-01-03;
to 133,683,433 beginning 2009-04-04;
to 133,078,480 beginning 2009-07-04;
to 133,823,421 beginning 2009-10-03;
to 131,823,421 beginning 2009-10-17;
to 130,128,328 beginning 2010-01-02;
to 128,298,468 beginning 2010-04-03;
to 126,763,245 beginning 2010-07-03;
to 125,845,577 beginning 2010-09-25;
to 125,560,066 beginning 2011-01-15.]
EUC (Excel)
more graphs

2011-01-27 02:58PST (05:58EST) (10:58GMT)
Patrick Thibodeau & Sharon Machlis _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
Recession (within the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama depression) hit older tech workers harder than most BLS data shows (with table)
"What is certain is that unemployment for people 55 years and older has become a problem, especially during the past two years. In the U.S. government's 'computer and mathematical occupations' category, the overall unemployment rate jumped from 6% to 8.4% from 2009 to 2010, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For women 55 and older, the unemployment rate hit 9.4%. For men in that age group, it was 8%. Meanwhile, unemployment declined for workers in that category who were between 25 and 54, dropping from 5.1% in 2009 to 4.5% in 2010... Four years ago, before the economic downturn, unemployment for computer and math professionals was 3.5% for men 55 and over and 4.2% for women the same age. The overall rate for younger professionals -- between the ages of 25 and 54 -- was just 1.7%... Overall, the jobless rate for workers in computer and math fields was 5.2% last year, unchanged from 2009. Average unemployment for all professional occupations was 4.5%, with the lowest levels in the health and legal occupations, according to the government data. Architects and engineers had a higher unemployment rate, and those in the arts, entertainment, sports and media fared the worst."

Konrad M. Lawson _Chronicle of Higher Education_
AppleScript for Complex Repetitive Tasks: Converting hierarchies of jpeg pictures and notes into pdf files

2011-01-27 12:55PST (15:55EST) (20:55GMT)
Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
Flake has re-introduced evil bill to grant every foreign student who gets a STEM PhD in the USA a green card

2011-01-27 13:09PST (16:09EST) (21:09GMT)
_Los Angeles CA Times_
Long-term unemployment plaguing all ages, education levels
"About 30% of those out of work in 2010 December had been without a job for a year or more, Pew said.   That's more than 4.2M people -- roughly the population of Kentucky.   Although long-term unemployment affects all age groups, as the above chart shows, more older workers are having trouble getting back to work.   About 40% of all unemployed adults ages 55 to 64 have been out of work for a year or more.   Contrast that with people ages 20 to 24 -- only 21% of them have been out of work for a year or more.   The majority of the younger age group has been out of work for less than 26 weeks, Pew said.   Education doesn't necessarily help either.   In 2010 December, 191K people with an advanced degree had been out of work for a year or more -- 34% of all the unemployed with advanced degrees.   Of course, 1.3M people with a high school diploma had been out of work for a year or more.   The long-term unemployed are costly to the government.   Federal spending on unemployment benefits will reach $129G in 2011.   About $63G of that is to pay for benefits longer than the 26 weeks usually available to people."

Nic Robertson _CNN_
Saudi government reports new funding channels for Taliban and al-Qaeda
"the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist political group present in many Muslim countries, was trying 'through its many affiliated charities and organizations -- often with the funding of unwitting private Saudi citizens -- to spread its influence by providing support for candidates in Islamic democracies'...   'Once in power these candidates are expected to further the Brotherhood's goals.'"
Investigative Project: CAIR-Hamas-Muslim Brotherhood links
Discover the Networks: Muslim Brotherhood (MB)

2011-01-27 15:28PST (18:28EST) (23:28GMT)
Robert J. Samuelson _Investor's Business Daily_
Budget Myths Propel USA Toward Crisis
"The problem is... the exploding [unconstitutional] spending on the elderly -- for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- which automatically expands the size of government.   If we ended deficits with tax increases, we would simply exchange one problem (high deficits) for another (high taxes)."

Karl Tate _LiveScience_
Historical look at how science funding has changed over the decades with different administrations in power.
federal science funding


2011-01-27 (5771 Shebat 22)
Shadi Hamid _Jewish World Review_
Tunisia, Egypt, Arab world need bold US support for liberty and democracy, not mixed messages

2011-01-27 (5771 Shebat 22)
Paul Richter & Jeffrey Fleishman _Jewish World Review_
Obama and Clinton won't openly side with Egyptian liberty & democracy demonstrators
"The stiff challenge to the government of President Hosni Mubarak, a long-time American ally, has left the White House in a delicate position, less than 2 weeks after another longtime autocratic North African ally, President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, was toppled in a popular uprising."

2011-01-27 (5771 Shebat 22)
Richard Marosi _Jewish World Review_
Muslim cleric arrested by Border Patrol agents
"U.S. border authorities have arrested a controversial Muslim cleric who was deported from Canada to Tunisia three years ago and was caught earlier this month trying to sneak into California inside the trunk of a BMW, according to court documents.   Said Jaziri, the former Imam of a Muslim congregation in Montreal, was hidden inside a car driven by a San Diego-area man who was pulled over by U.S. Border Patrol agents near an Indian casino east of San Diego.   Jaziri allegedly paid a Tijuana-based smuggling group $5K to get him across the border near Tecate, saying he wanted to be taken to a 'safe place anywhere in the U.S.A.'.   The arrest marks the unexpected resurfacing of the 43-year-old cleric, whose protracted legal battle to avoid deportation drew headlines in Canada.   A Tunisian immigrant, Jaziri was deported for failing to disclose a criminal conviction in France while applying for refugee status in the mid-1990s...   He took a flight from Africa to Europe, then to Central America and Chetumal, Mexico, on the Mexico-Belize border, where he took a bus to Tijuana."

Proposed Bills 2011

  "[T]he merest glance at the federal budget is enough to convict the government of perjury, extortion, and fraud." --- P.J. O'Rourke 1994-05-06  



2011-01-28 05:19PST (08:19EST) (13:19GMT)
Jennifer Brooks _Knoxville TN News Sentinel_/_Scripps_/_Tennessean_
TN colleges face financial cuts and new rules this year

2011-01-28 06:15PST (09:15EST) (14:15GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
GDP grew 3.2% in 2010Q4, annualized

2011-01-28 06:59PST (09:59EST) (14:59GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 74.5 in December to 74.2
Federal Reserve Board St. Louis
Federal Reserve Board St. Louis

2011-01-28 07:16PST (10:16EST) (15:16GMT)
John Shinal _MarketWatch_
Evil tech exec scheme of the week: Amazon and EMC have their heads in the clouds
"Few things can give a stock a quick boost faster than a lay-off announcement -- evidence that the best interests of investors and workers are often not aligned."

2011-01-28 07:28PST (10:28EST) (15:28GMT)
Jamie Coleman _ForExLive_
Egyptian riots starting to take on a militant tinge as the banned Muslim Brotherhood has become active in the protests
Investigative Project: CAIR-Hamas-Muslim Brotherhood links
Discover the Networks: Muslim Brotherhood (MB)

2011-01-28 11:43PST (14:43EST) (19:43GMT)
Profile: Egypt's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan Muslimun)
Investigative Project: CAIR-Hamas-Muslim Brotherhood links
Discover the Networks: Muslim Brotherhood (MB)

Jay D. Homnick _American Spectator_
Demanding "civility" is the last refuge of an aggressor

Tom Lutey _Billings MT Gazette_/_Lee_
USDA approved Roundup Ready genetically modified alfalfa

2011-01-28 15:51PST (18:51EST) (23:51GMT)
Charles Krauthammer _Investor's Business Daily_
Obama and congress-critters seem tone-deaf on excessive federal spending

2011-01-28 15:51PST (18:51EST) (23:51GMT)
Ruth Marcus _Investor's Business Daily_
Federal government can't tackle debt with only talk

2011-01-28 15:51PST (18:51EST) (23:51GMT)
_Investor's Business Daily_
Where's Our Waiver from unconstitutional National Socialist Health Care Perversion/PP&ACA/HCERA/ObummerDoesn'tCare?
"Unions, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), are particularly favored in this charade.   Unions represent 6.9% of the private work force, yet 40% of the workers covered by these waivers are union members.   There are no fewer than 182 union benefit funds, one-fourth of all waivers, now exempted.   And of the only 14.6M union employees in the U.S.A., 860K are already exempted from ObummerDoesn'tCare's mandated coverage requirements.   The SEIU -- whose former head Andy Stern was once the leading visitor to the White House, ahead of Cabinet members and heads of state -- had 3 of its locals exempted from ObummerDoesn'tCare mandates in the first batch of waivers, which reached 222 total: Local 25 SEIU in Chicago, with 31K enrollees; Local 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund, with 4,544 enrollees; and SEIU Local 1 Cleveland Welfare Fund, with 520 enrollees.   In the latest round of waivers, the SEIU, which lobbied mightily to force everyone else into ObummerDoesn'tCare, added four more locals to the waiver list, which stands at 729.   There are now seven SEIU locals that have waivers, covering a total of 45K workers.   Other unions and labor groups have also benefited.   One of the largest waivers, for 351K people, went to the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund, a New York union that covers teachers.   The United Agricultural Benefit Trust, a California-based cooperative that provides such low-cost minimal coverage to farm-workers, was allowed to exempt 17,347 workers."

David North _Center for Immigration Studies_
GAO hiding total numbers of H-1B visa-holders in the USA: There are about 650K

2011-01-28 (5771 Shebat 23)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
The pragmatic fantasy
"Today the Egyptian regime faces its gravest threat since Anwar Sadat's assassination thirty years ago.   As protesters take to the street for the third day in a row demanding the overthrow of 82-year old President Hosni Mubarak, it is worth considering the possible alternatives to his regime.   Thursday afternoon, Egyptian presidential hopeful Mohammed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency returned to Egypt from Vienna to participate in anti-regime demonstrations.   As IAEA head, Elbaradei shielded Iran's nuclear weapons program from the Security Council.   He repeatedly ignored evidence indicating that Iran's nuclear program was a military program rather than a civilian energy program.   When the evidence became too glaring to ignore, Elbaradei continued to lobby against significant UN Security Council sanctions or other actions against Iran and obscenely equated Israel's purported nuclear program to Iran's.   His actions won him the support of the Iranian regime which he continues to defend."

Proposed Bills 2011

S&P 500(SPX)1,276.34
10-year US T-Bond(UST10Y)3.33
crude oil(CLH11)$89.41/barrel
reformulatedgasoline(RBG11) $2.44/gal
swissfrancsperdollar 0.9420
indianrupeesperdollar 45.7725
mexicanpesosperdollar(MXN) 12.195
ChicagoVIx 19.98

I usually get this info from MarketWatch.

Proposed Bills 2011

  "We are spending great sums on useless 'public improvements' & are paying pensions under a law which seems framed but to put a premium upon fraud & get away with public money.   And yet the great questions before Congress is what to do with the surplus." --- Henry George 1883 (quoted in John H. Makin & Norman J. Ornstein 1994 _Debt & Taxes_ pg 75)  



Doug Bandow _American Spectator_
Electric Cars: Paying more for less performance and quality

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Left's perverse definition of "investment"

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
QE2 in tones of gray
James Pethokoukis: Commentary Magazine: The problem with printing currency
"The explanation, says Minneapolis Fed president Narayana Kocherlakota, is that all those unemployed construction workers and mortgage lenders don't have the skills employers need."

John Schmid _Milwaukee WI Journal Sentinel_
Patent back-log hinders nation's job creation: When innovative ideas sit in a pile, start-ups never get started

Proposed Bills 2011

  "Find a small need that is not being filled or a product or service that could be improved.   Stay focused only on what you do best.   Stay small so that you can keep in control of the business.   Have fun.   Enjoy life." --- Harry S. Dent 1995 _Job Shock_ pg 285  



Joan Allen Rowe _CT Law Review_
Audits remain favorite tool of immigration officials to catch employers of illegal aliens
"This past October, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that since 2009 January, it had audited [only] 3,200 employers suspected of hiring illegal workers, debarred 225 companies and individuals, and imposed roughly $50M in financial sanctions -- more than the total amount of audits and debarments than during the entire previous administration."

Rosie Powers _Daily Illini_
U of IL wind turbine project running further into the red
"The project, which would provide at least 1.5MW of electricity for campus use, has an estimated cost of about $5.2M by the University's calculations -- a number that is $700K more than what was budgeted.   As a result, the University has asked the Student Sustainability Committee, or SSC, to forward a $700K grant by Feb. 2 in an effort to meet the Feb. 7 deadline to be included on the next Board of Trustees meeting agenda for approval...   Of the $4.5M for the project, 2 grants of $0.5M were included from the Office of University President Michael Hogan and the Office of Interim Chancellor Robert Easter.   A $2M grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation was also included in this budget, for which funding has been renewed 3 times throughout the past 7 years.   The remainder of the budgeted funding came from student-based funding from SSC."

Charles S. Johnson _Billings MT Gazette_/_Lee_
Montana government employed about 1K more in 2010 than it did in 2004 (with table)

Brenda Walker _V Dare_
Jobs picture for older workers is bleak (with graphs)

Steve Sailer _V Dare_
The elite firm - elite college connection
"'Rivera's work confirms that in the real world, people believe in folk notions of brain-power or IQ.   (''Quick on the uptake'', ''Picks things up really fast'', ''A sponge''...)   They count on elite educational institutions to do their g-filtering for them.   In the past, as noted by one commenter, firms often asked for SAT scores.'   Why don't firms that hire 22-year-olds ask college seniors to take the GMAT or GRE or LSAT and have those scores sent to them?   'Elite soft firms generally want people who are smart, but not too smart.   Other factors, like personality, communication and leadership skills, etc. are valued as well.   Start-ups, hedge funds, MSFT/GOOG, etc. generally want the smartest people they can get their hands on, at least for technical roles. [Not for at least a decade, now; since then, it's all about cheap and pliant...jgo]'"
Steve Hsu: Credentialism and elite performance

David North _Center for Immigration Studies_
GAO's Bland Review of H-1B Scheme Mostly Ignores Impact on Workers
"There is no talk of balancing the desires of the employers with the interests of the employees in that opening, no discussion of jobs losses to U.S. workers, no discussion of what harm the program does to wage levels in the high-tech industries, just the sad story of how some companies cannot get as many well-trained, compliant, and inexpensive foreign workers as they want, exactly when they want them.   It is as if the report were written by the National Association of Manufacturers or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, rather than by a supposedly impartial arm of the Congress of the United States...   Another well-documented symptom of this attitude is the lopsided amount of consultation the gang of authors -- 31 people played a role in writing this 118-page report -- had with corporations, as opposed to unions and other critics of the program...   It is Matloff's position that both the point of the program, and its obvious effect, is to reduce wages for well-educated high tech workers.   That's what it is all about.   There is, for instance, no requirement that H-1B employers routinely try to recruit U.S. workers before they can hire foreign ones...   My own sense is that there is another aspect of the program, one that cannot be measured, that also makes it very attractive to employers, and that is the compliant nature of the workers involved.   They are young, in a strange country, and can hold onto their legal status in this country only by pleasing their employers.   No wonder they are so easy to supervise."

Proposed Bills 2011

  "Looked at more generally, in a world where people have multi-dimensional goals, all constrained within the limits of their wealth-generating capacity, gov't intervention can always improve one dimension & document that improvement objectively as a 'success', ignoring the other dimensions sacrificed." --- Thomas Sowell 1994 _Race & Culture_ pg 102  



2011-01-31 03:48PST (06:48EST) (11:48GMT)
_Treasure Coast FL Palm_
State Farm protection racket wants 28% rate increase in Florida for home policies, after 6.6% increase last year

2011-01-31 07:03PST (10:03EST) (15:03GMT)
Zack Whittaker _Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
Indian government still demanding Blackberry make it easy for them spy on e-mail

2011-01-31 09:22:52PST (12:22:52EST) (17:22:52GMT)
Alx Tanzi _Bloomberg_
Conference Board: on-line help-wanted advertising stable
Sacramento CA Bee
"On-line advertised vacancies rose 438K in January to 4.273M according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data Series released today.   With the January increase, labor demand has risen 1.44M since the series low point in 2009 April.   This increase now offsets approximately 80% of the 1.76M drop in ad volume during the 2-year down-turn period from 2007 April through 2009 April."

_Iowa Politics_
Durbin, Grassley Say GAO report highlights need for major reform of the H-1B Visa Program
The Hill
Patrick Thibodeau: ComputerWorld/IDG

Chris Isidore _CNN_
Low-wage jobs dominating hiring
"Bernhardt's analysis of the first 7 months of 2010 found that 76% of jobs created were in low- to mid-wage industries -- those earning between $8.92 to $15 an hour, well below the national average hourly wage of $22.60...   High-wage sectors -- made up of jobs that pay between $17.43 and $31 an hour -- accounted for nearly half the jobs lost during the recession, but have produced only 5% of the new jobs since hiring resumed, Bernhardt's study showed...   Case in point: Professional and business services sectors gained a healthy 366K jobs in 2010.   Workers in that sector earned $27.23 an hour, on average, in 2010.   But almost all of the new jobs -- 308K -- came in temporary help services [bodyshopping], where the average hourly wage was only $15 an hour."

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
"stimulus spending" still doesn't work
John F. Cogan & John B. Taylor: Commentary Magazine: Where did the stimulus go? (with graphs)
2009-01-09: Bruce Bartlett: Forbes: The fiscal stimulus: What will work?
2009-08-21: Thomas E. Brewton: Government stimulus spending: Differing perspectives
2010-01-26: Thomas E. Brewton: Stimulus is vote-buying, not job creating
2009-01-28: Thomas E. Brewton: Stimulus or squealing pork?
Wall Street Journal: "stimulus" package is a 40-year wish list
Thomas E. Brewton: Stimulus dis-incentives
2011-01-29: Thomas E. Brewton: QE2 in tones of gray

Wesley J. Smith _Discovery_
Death Panels: The real threat of government control of health care

Robert P. Murphy _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
Are "sticky wages" a market failure?

William L. Anderson
The markets, not the central bankers, should decide interest rates

2011-01-31 (5771 Shebat 26)
Jeffrey Fleishman _Jewish World Review_
How -- and why -- the Muslim Brotherhood's Egyptian strategy seems to be succeeding

2011-01-31 (5771 Shebat 26)
George Friedman _Jewish World Review_/_StratFor_
The Egypt Crisis in a Global Context

2011-01-31 (5771 Shebat 26)
Paul Richter & Peter Nicholas _Jewish World Review_
US government preparing for post-Mubarak era

Proposed Bills 2011

  "It is improvement in absolute wage levels, not changes in relative wage levels, that really concerns the low-income & middle-income earners...   Social unrest is not likely to occur if no one is poor; there are few rich people who complain about the super rich.   Free-market economies, unrestrained by state control & inflation, have come a long way in achieving this goal of improved absolute wage levels." --- Mark Skousen 1991 _Economics on Trial_ pg 195  

Kkilo-thousand 10^31,000
Mmega-millionone thousand thousand10^61,000,000
Ggiga-billionone thousand million10^91,000,000,000
Ttera-trillionone million million10^121,000,000,000,000
Ppeta-quadrillionone million billion10^151,000,000,000,000,000
Eexa-quintillionone billion billion10^181,000,000,000,000,000,000
Zzetta-sextillionone billion trillion10^211,000,000,000,000,000,000

Except that computer people use 2 as a base raised to multiples of powers of 10, instead of 10 raised to multiples of powers of 3 because powers of 2 are handier for them, but they also want to stay somewhat close to the values of 10 most folks are used to.
1,024Kkilo- (kibi-)2^10
1,048,576Mmega- (mebi-)2^20
1,073,741,824Ggiga- (gibi-)2^30
1,099,511,627,776Ttera- (tebi-)2^40
1,125,899,906,842,624Ppeta- (pebi-)2^50
1,152,921,504,606,846,976Eexa- (exbi-)2^60
1,180,591,620,717,411,303,424Zzetta- (zebi-)2^70

An alternate set of prefixes has been proposed.


Proposed Bills 2011

Congressional candidate fund-raising, expenditures, and debt

USA Over-Population Clock
World + USA Over-Population Clocks
Jimbo Wales's WikiPedia on World Over-Population

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

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