2013 April

1st month of the 2nd quarter of the 24th year of the Bush-Clinton-Shrub-Obummer economic depression

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updated: 2019-03-14
 

  "By the end of the 19th century, bicycles had evolved into highly mobile [sort of] clean machines, and an electric vehicle held the world speed record of 61 miles per hour.   By the turn of the century almost as many electric-driven cars (1,575) as steam-driven ones (1,684) would be manufactured annually in the [United States of America].   Combined, they out-numbered gasoline-engined cars by more than 3 to 1." --- Henry Petroski 2010 _The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems_ pg84  

 
 
2013 April
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  "Since the early 1990s, global illicit trade has embarked on a great mutation.   It is the same mutation as that of international terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda or Islamic Jihad -- or for that matter, of activists for the global good...   All have moved away from fixed hierarchies and toward decentralized networks; away from controlling leaders and toward multiple, loosely linked, dispersed agents and cells; away from rigid lines of control and exchange and toward constantly shifting transactions as opportunities dictate.   It is a mutation that governments in the 1990s barely recognized and could not, in any case, hope to emulate." --- Moises Naim 2005 _Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and CopyCats Are Hijacking the Global Economy_ pg7  

 
 

 

 


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

2013 April

1st month of the 2nd quarter of the 14th year of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama economic depression


 
 

2013-04-01

2013-04-01
_Youngstown OH Vindicator_
Girard HS RoboCats capture another regional title
"The team was in a field of 58 teams from the Mid-Atlantic region, along with teams from Israel and Brazil, who fought in the FIRST Robotics Competition DC Regional on March 30.   The Robocats already had qualified for the world championship with a win at Xavier University in Cincinnati on March 24, but rolled to a back-to-back victory with their Washington win...   The Robocats will be joined by other qualifiers: Team Krunch from East Lake HS in Tarpon Springs, FL; The Brazilian Machine from Provincia de Sao Pedro HS in Porto Alegre, Brazil; ILITE Robotics from Battlefield HS in Prince William county, VA; Epsilon Delta from Herndon HS in Herndon, VA; and Team Illusion, a community-based team from Greenbelt, MD.   The RoboCats are seeking support from individuals and local businesses to raise funds for the trip to the world championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis from April 24 to 27.   'We have 3 weeks [to raise the funds].', said Robocats coach Judy Barber.   'We have had a lot of wonderful people in Girard who help support us, and we're relying on our community.'   The cost of the trip is approximately $16K with expenses of a charter bus, food, housing and registration fees, Barber said."

2013-04-01
Matt O'Brien e-mail _San Jose CA Mercury News_
low-skill H-1B visa demand surges as congress debates immigration law perversions

2013-04-01
Konrad Lawson _Chronicle of Higher Education_
file and repository history in GitHub

2013-04-01
Clayton E. Cramer _PJ Media_
media violence, Hollywood narratives, and the mentally ill

2013-04-01
Ed Prior _BBC_
how much gold is there in the world?
Only Gold: historical gold price estimates
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "A typical convention lead-acid battery might have an energy density of about 35 watt-hours per kilogram compared to gasoline's 2K." --- Henry Petroski 2010 _The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems_ pg85 (citing Michael H. Westbrook 2001 _The Electric Car: Development and Future of Battery, Hybrid and Fuel-Cell Cars_ pp16-19)  

 
 

2013-04-02

2013-04-03
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shorint News-Letter_
H-1B poster kids, visa auction etc.
 
We're seeing a flurry of articles reporting that yesterday was the opening of "H-1B season", with large numbers of employers vying for a limited number of visas.   I'll focus here on one such piece in the Wall Street Journal] and will highlight this article's "H-1B poster child," Amrita Mahale.
 
The industry's PR people and allies don't have a good track record for "poster kids".   Closer scrutiny typically shows that those examples are actually arguments why H-1B and other foreign tech worker programs should be reduced in scope, not expanded.   I'll review a few past such cases, and then discuss Ms. Mahale.
 
1.   We had one example just a few days ago, Cristin Martinez-Mortolo.   She's doing an ordinary job, with an ordinary background.   She sends out messages to customers of the type "You have 500 free minutes." Lots of U.S. citizens and permanent residents could do this work.
 
2.   Vivek Wadha cited one, Girija Subramaniam.   Again, ordinary background, and most interestingly, ordinary work -- a test engineer.   You can't find any type of engineering work more ordinary than that, no special talents needed.   Lots of under-employed American engineers would love to do that work.
 
AND...Vivek, who really plays up the theme that the green card wait is too long, resulting in H-1Bs giving up and going home or elsewhere, used Ms. Subramaniam as an example, saying, "Frustrated, she has applied for fast-track Canadian permanent residency and expects to move north of the border by the end of the year."   Well, guess what -- she's still here, working at Nomad Digital in the DC area, according to her LinkedIn page.
 
3.   YYY, master's degree in educational technology, working for a lighting firm.   Details are sketchy, but it certainly looks like she too has a job that lots of Americans could do.
 
4.   PK.   PK himself was not highlighted, but his boss, PD, was praised in a speech by [president Obummer], as a model immigrant/entrepreneur.   A little detective work on my part revealed that PK also has an ordinary background, and was doing ordinary data analysis work for PD, again the kind of work tons of Americans could do.
 
I have no doubt that the above are doing a good job, but again, many Americans could do their jobs.   NONE of these fits the "skills shortage, genius" model that the industry likes to present [to feebly attempt to justify] the H-1B program.
 
Now to Ms. Mahale.   I've always said that we should welcome the world's genuine best and brightest, and arguably Mahale fits that deascription, as a gold medal winner in aero engineering at IIT, a campus in India's most prestigious system of engineering schools.   HOWEVER...
 
Hers is a job that a friend of mine, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is well qualified for.   He has an MBA from one of the top 5 business schools in the nation, and has done customer acquisition work for several household-name firms.   It's been a while since I've talked to him, but I'm fairly sure this is the kind of position he'd be highly interested in (the prospect of moving back to California would make the idea even more interesting to him).
 
Second, let's talk about Mahale's alleged "plight", not sure that she'll get a visa.   Her current status is a little murky, MS finished in 2009, then worked at Google until 2011, then at Pocket Gems, her current employer, ever since.   She may be applying for a renewal, after the initial 3-year visa period.   But let's put that aside and focus on the main point: She's hoping to "win the lottery", by getting an H-1B visa in this brief "H-1B season" that began yesterday.
 
I've looked through the LCA records for Pocket Gems, and it's not clear which of them, if any, is for Mahale.   But it does appear that the firm may be paying its foreign workers well, as a number of the wages are well above the legally-required prevailing wage.   Let's assume that to be the case, which then has two very important implications:
 
1.   News reports indicate that H-1B may be very much oversubscribed this year.   The USCIS has handled that in past via a random lottery.   But various organizations have proposed that this be done through an auction rather than a lottery.   By "auction", I mean that the employers offering the higher salaries get priority for the visas.   This makes great sense, which is why USCIS has chosen NOT to go this route in the past.   If they were to do so this year, Mahale, working for a firm that seems to pay well, should have no trouble getting a visa for her.
 
2.   I once again return to the Grassley/Brown bill, which would set the prevailing wage at the median overall for an occupation, without breaking down into experience levels.   (I must stress, as usual, that the lack of experience levels is crucial.)   Again, I believe that under this bill, Mahale would easily qualify.
 
Don't points 1 and 2 above make sense?   The ostensible reason why employers hire H-1Bs is that they are special, extraordinary people in some way or ways.   For those that this description genuinely applies to, the above 2 approaches should easily fill the bill.
 
So, why not take such common sense approaches?
 
One more thing on Mahale: Here's a tweet she posted while she was at Google:
 
************************
 
Amrita Mahale Amrita Mahale @amritamahale
 
If you have 1-3 years experience in consulting and would like to be a part of my strategy team at Google, drop me a line. http://goo.gl/htla
 
************************

 
Back to the age issue once again!   Many people who are interested in the H-1B issue fail to pay proper attention to this.   Employers say they are "desperate" to hire, but in actuality they only want new or recent college graduates -- NCGs or RCGs, in Intel's acronym system.   When they run out of American NCGs and RCGs, they turn to the foreign NCGs and RCGs -- in order to avoid hiring the older (35+) Americans.
 
As I've mentioned before, this is why the notion with great currency on Capitol Hill of "STEM visas", given to new foreign graduates, is so wrong.
 
Norm
---30---

2013-04-02
Danny Restivo _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
Hubbard man appeared in court for stolen brass statue
2013-03-29: John W. Goodwin ii & Danny Restivo: $36K statue stolen from cem., chopped and sold as scrap for $25.50 as Obummer economic depression continues

2013-04-02
_Youngstown OH Vindicator_
Ohio Star Forge announced $20M expansion project
"Bill Orbach, Ohio Star Forge CEO...   In February, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved $107,483 in job-creation tax credits for OSF.   Though it has been in competition with a site in Japan for an expansion, the Mahoning Avenue site was selected.   OSF, an independent subsidiary of Daido Steel, a specialty-steel conglomerate with operations in the U.S.A. and Japan, claims such an expansion in Champion would create 26 jobs in its first 3 years of operation and retain 95 others.   Under the proposed investment, the Champion plant expansion would include $14M in machinery and equipment, $3.7M in building costs, $100K in land costs and about $2M in other expenses.   A state incentive package also handed down in February included a $30K work-force-training grant, which will go toward training current and new workers at the plant."

2013-04-02
Anthony Watts
U of AL at Huntsville (UAH) global temperature report: no change

2013-04-02
Robert Moore _Cenantua_
a closer look at "Galvanized Yankees" formerly of the 34th Mississippi

2013-04-02 (5773 Nisan 22)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Middle East "democracy"
Central PA Patriot-News
"those who created the United States of America viewed democracy with fear, and created a Constitutional republic instead.   Everything depends on how you define democracy.   In its most basic sense, democracy means majority rule.   But there can be majority rule in a free country or in a country with an authoritarian or even a dictatorial government.   In this age of sloppy uses of words, many people include freedom in their conception of democracy.   But whether democracy leads to freedom is an open question, not a foregone conclusion.   In the [United States of America], when the Union army of occupation withdrew from the South, years after the Civil War, majority rule returned to the Southern states, and the freedom of blacks was drastically restricted from what it had been under military rule.   Those who applauded the spread of democracy in the Middle East seemed to assume that the 'Arab Spring' meant greater freedom.   But there was no reason to assume that beforehand, and certainly no reason to believe it after the fact.   Christians in Egypt have already lost whatever security they had under Hosni Mubarak.   The idea that 'all people want freedom' is one of those feel-good phrases that some people indulge in.   But you do not get a free country just because everybody wants freedom, for themselves.   You can have a free country only when people are willing to let other people have freedom.   Nazis were free to be Nazis under Hitler and Communists were free to be Communists under Stalin and Mao.   But nobody else was free.   Toleration for others is a pre-condition for a free society, and it is hard to think of more intolerant societies than most of those in the Middle East.   There have been female heads of state in some other Islamic countries, but not in the Middle East.   Democracy in the Middle East context means majority selection of which individuals get the power to oppress.   Why would anyone have seriously believed that it would mean anything more than that? Certainly not from the history of the region.   Too many people tend to think of democracy as a consumer good, so that high voter turnout on election day makes them happy.   But the purpose of an election is not to make people feel good about participating.   Its purpose is to select the best leaders available, to whom the well-being, and ultimately the lives, of the people can be entrusted.   That is serious business.   Voting is not an end in itself.   Had there been universal access to the ballot in Europe centuries ago, in an age of mass illiteracy, it is very unlikely that this would have led to freedom, and far more likely that the continent would have collapsed into confusion and anarchy, and been ripe to be enslaved by conquerors with more realistic governments.   Restrictions on who can vote have been based on assessments of who can best choose the nation's leaders.   Those assessments have varied from country to country, and from one era to another, and no doubt some restrictions make more sense than others.   But the fundamental point here is that elections have far more serious purposes than participation.   Most Western nations had freedom long before they had democracy.   Women have been voting in the United States less than a century.   But, even before women could vote in England or America, they had freedoms that women in many Middle Eastern countries can only dream about today..."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "The last new model of an electric car to be built in America during that era was introduced in 1921 -- at a price 4 times that of a Model T." --- Henry Petroski 2010 _The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems_ pg85 (citing Michael H. Westbrook 2001 _The Electric Car: Development and Future of Battery, Hybrid and Fuel-Cell Cars_ pp16-19)  

 
 

2013-04-03

2013-04-03
Jamison Cocklin _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
Mahoning Valley faces "worker shortage" amid glut of new jobs and unemployed
"Precipitous declines at vocational schools in the last two decades, spurred by a push to encourage more Americans to attend college and a rapidly changing economy in the Mahoning Valley, have left those like Rocco DiGennaro, business manager at the Local 125, scrambling for more younger and older workers alike.   'It's been mixed.   With the way the economy has been here, we were expecting much higher participation.', DiGennaro said.   'We didn't get it.   Recently we had 39 applicants.   Of those 39, 20 were referred by members' families.   We've been looking for more involvement.'   The laborer program has open enrollment, with no fee to apply.   Once an applicant becomes a member and starts working, they pay both working and union dues.   They're also trained in class-rooms 4 times per year at a central facility in Millwood where they receive college credit, in addition to on-the-job training...   Black Monday, when the steel mills began closing in 1977, and then after every recession, both past and present, when the jobless rate hovered well above 10%...   the oil and gas boom, for example, has meant holding on to the hope that he can soon break into the industry...   Shoemaker has a mechanical background, and last summer he participated in a Retrain America course at Youngstown State University, where he got a primer about working on a drilling rig.   He paid $4K for the 2-week class."

2013-04-03
Brett French _Billings MT Gazette_
shooting sports in Forsyth
"The hillsides are speckled with the steel of black silhouette shooting targets...   The shooting range, where every June hundreds of people gather for the Matthew Quigley Buffalo Rifle Match, is located on his ranch north of the Yellowstone River.   To say that shooting is his passion doesn't do justice to the depth of his love of the sport, the guns and their history...   recently honored for 55 years of service to the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks' hunter education program in Forsyth.   He began teaching a firearms course to youngsters in 1958, the year after the hunter ed program began in Montana...   'When I came up here as a kid in the summer, my dad gave me an old .300 Savage and told me to keep that freezer full of antelope.', Lee said, since his mother was feeding a crew of ranch hands.   It didn't matter that the animals were shot out of season, a fact Lee now regrets but doesn't hide.   'There was no law north of the Yellowstone back then.'...   Sharon, a Fort Benton farmer's daughter, was studying industrial chemistry at MSU.   The couple's first date was a trip to shoot prairie dogs...   The cowboy served in the Air Force during the Korean War as an armament electronics instructor on huge Convair B-36 jet bombers known as the 'Peacemaker'.   Other than teaching fencing to fellow college students, it was his first role as an instructor...   He continues to cattle ranch with his son, Bob, and annually opens 30 sections of his ranch to the Boy Scouts, the Quigley match and to public hunters."

2013-04-03
Steve Goldstein _MarketWatch_
interview of David Stockman
Stockman: "Secondly, the economy performed brilliantly during that period.   Real GDP growth, it was nearly 4% continuously without inflation.   Now there were periodic panics, mostly those happened in Wall Street.   They didn't spill over into Main Street and the middle and western sections of the country.   For instance, the panic of 1884 had no effect on the economy of Ohio.   Therefore, that was a period of good economic performance.   They had this silly chart created, who knows, 40 years ago by the National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER] that shows all these periods of recession, without telling you that one, they couldn't even measure GDP in those days.   It's all guesses, they didn't have quarterly GDP and we can hardly trust what we have today.   Those numbers were a lot of noise.   But you can tell the living standard rose over time, real income rose consistently and substantially, and the real GDP growth is 'unquestionably the best we ever had...   we didn't have a Fed that was printing money like there is no tomorrow hand over fist.   We didn't have a Fed that was trying to micro-manage, macro-manage, adjust, manipulate, every aspect of the financial market and the national economy.   That's the problem...   every central bank in the world is putting out the same heroin, the same monetary policy poison.   Because the Fed is doing this, and this is part of my theme in the book, that once we started going into the massive balance sheet expansion, other central banks had to reciprocate or otherwise their currencies would be disadvantaged.   The whole world of central banks is now administering the same bad medicine.   To say it works because everyone is doing the same thing, again, I think is utterly disingenuous...   deposit insurance is the great moral hazard."

2013-04-03
Alan Reynolds _Investor's Business Daily_
governments which cut spending, debt, and taxes are thriving (with table)
Free Republic
Daniel J. Mitchell: Town Hall
Real Clear Politics
"Economist Jim O'Neill coined the acronym BRIC in 2001 to refer to four economies which showed great potential then and now -- Brazil, Russia, India and China.   More recently, he added four more promising MIST economies — Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey.   In mid-2008, The Economist magazine drew a sharp contrast between the booming BRIC economies and four feeble PIGS -- Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain.   By 2010, after Ireland and Great Britain bailed out their banks, that unkind acronym was stretched to PIIGGS."

2013-04-03
Pete Carey _San Jose CA Mercury News_
SF Bay area's average home-buyers are shut out by cash offers and investors

2013-04-03 (5773 Nisan 23)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
minority student needs
"Professor Craig Frisby is on the faculty of University of Missouri's Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology.   His most recent book is _Meeting the Psycho-Educational Needs of Minority Students_.   It's a 662-page text-book...   Quack multi-culturalism is the name Frisby gives to the vision of multi-culturalism that promotes the falsehoods and distortions that dominate today's college agenda, sold under various names such as 'valuing diversity', 'being sensitive to cultural differences' and 'cultural competence'.   He identifies different brands of multi-culturalism such as boutique, Kumbayah, light-and-fluffy, and bean-counting multi-culturalism.   Insider language used to promote multi-culturalism includes terms such as 'practice tolerance', 'celebrate diversity', 'equity with excellence' and 'differences are not deficits'.   Escalating costs and budget crunches don't stop colleges from hiring vice presidents, deans and directors of diversity.   Multi-culturalism teaches that one set of cultural values is equal to another.   That means if black students talk, dress and comport themselves in a certain way, to criticize them is merely cultural imperialism...   All of this boils down to teaching under-graduate and graduate students and professionals in the fields of psychology and education to be non-critical and feel sympathy for blacks and other minorities.   I might add that such sympathy doesn't extend to Japanese, Chinese and Jews, who are even more of a minority...   This vision of the mission of education might help to explain why students, particularly minority students, emerge from high school and college with little reading, writing and thinking ability...   The fundamental problem crippling low-income minority students is school behavioral disorder...   My read of his book is that it supplies more evidence that the actions of soft-minded, guilty white [leftists] have done far more harm to black people than racists of the past could have ever done."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "In newer versions of Git, git diff --ours is a synonym for git diff HEAD, because it shows the differences between 'our' version and the merged version.   Similarly, git diff MERGE_HEAD can be written as git diff --theirs.   You can use git diff --base to see the combined set of changes since the merge base, which would otherwise be rather awkwardly written as: git diff $(git merge-base HEAD MERGE_HEAD)" --- Jon Loeliger, Matthew McCullough & Avery Pennarun 2012 _Version Control with Git_ pg131  

 
 

2013-04-04

2013-04-04
Karin Fischer _Chronicle of Higher Education_
28% of employers value bachelor's degree less than they did 5 years ago
11% [of] employers allege it is "very difficult" to find ""qualified" "graduates"".   42% say it is "diffiult"; 36% say it's neither easy nor difficult, 10% say it's "easy", and 2% say it is "very easy".   6% say colleges do an "excellent" job of producing what turn out to be "successful" employees; 63% say they do a "good" job, 28% say they do a "fair" job, and 3% say they do a "poor" job.   Science and tech employers value bachelor's degrees very slightly more than they did 5 years ago...
"These days a bachelor's degree is practically a prerequisite for getting your résumé read—two-thirds of employers said they never waive degree requirements, or do so only for particularly outstanding candidates...   3 times the proportion of Americans have bachelor's degrees now as did a generation or 2 ago...   [David E. Boyes, who runs a bodyshop in Northern Virginia alleges] recent graduates lack, like how to analyze large amounts of data or construct a cogent argument...   While fresh hires had the right technical know-how for the job, said most employers in the survey, they grumbled that colleges weren't adequately preparing students in written and oral communication, decision-making, and analytical and research skills...   employers want 'book smarts to translate to the real world'.   'It's a matter of how to apply that knowledge.', [Julian L. Alssid of Work-force Strategy Center] says...   'To expect business to bring graduates up to speed', [Richard D. Stephens, SVP for HR at Boeing] says, 'that's too much to ask.'...   'Once upon a time, trainee used to be a common job title.', says Philip D. Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University.   'Now companies expect everyone, recent graduates included, to be ready to go on Day One.'...   work-place skills ought to be taught on the job.   Higher education is meant to educate broadly, not train narrowly...   nearly half of all American college graduates in 2010 were under-employed, holding jobs that require less than a bachelor's degree."

2013-04-04
Willis Eschenbach
new paper from Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project on urban... vs. micro-environment of weather instruments

2013-04-04 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT) (14:30 Jerusalem)
Tom Stengle & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
DoL OPA press releases
historical data
DoL regulations
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 314,016 in the week ending March 30, a decrease of 1,596 from the previous week.   There were 315,714 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6% during the week ending March 23, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,320,163, a decrease of 82,391 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,402,554.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.9% and the volume was 3,636,712.   The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending March 16 was 5,288,614, a decrease of 167,165 from the previous week.   There were 7,050,710 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2012.   Extended Benefits were available only in Alaska during the week ending March 16...   States reported 1,799,625 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending March 16, a decrease of 106,699 from the prior week.   There were 2,815,108 persons claiming EUC in the comparable week in 2012.   EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.   [Note that the population used for calculating the "insured unemployment rate" (the divisor) changes roughly quarterly:
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;
to 125,572,661 beginning 2011-04-02;
to 125,807,389 beginning 2011-07-02;
to 126,188,733 beginning 2011-10-01;
to 126,579,970 beginning 2012-01-01;
to 127,048,587 beginning 2012-04-07;
to 127,495,952 beginning 2012-07-14;
to 128,066,082 beginning 2012-10-06;
to 128,613,913 beginning 2013-01-05.]
EUC (Excel)
EB
graphs
more graphs

2013-04-04
_Investor's Business Daily_
Krugman's disconnection from reality continues with his praise of "California economic recovery"

2013-04-04
Neil Versel _Information Week_/_UBM_
super-computer apps tackle cancer, autism, heart attacks

2013-04-04
Robert Talbert _Chronicle of Higher Education_
data on whether and how students watch screen-casts

2013-04-04 (5773 Nisan 24)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
guns save lives
Redding CA
Omaha NB World Herald
NH Union Leader
"most defensive uses of guns do not involve actually pulling the trigger.   If someone comes at you with a knife and you point a gun at him, he is very unlikely to keep coming, and far more likely to head in the other direction, perhaps in some haste, if he has a brain in his head.   Only if he is an idiot are you likely to have to pull the trigger.   And if he is an idiot with a knife coming after you, you had better have a trigger to pull.   Surveys of American gun owners have found that 4% to 6% reported using a gun in self-defense within the previous 5 years.   That is not a very high percentage but, in a country with 300M people, that works out to hundreds of thousands of defensive uses of guns per year...   countries with stronger gun control laws than the United States, but which have much higher murder rates, such as Brazil, Russia and Mexico.   Even in the case of Britain, London had a much lower murder rate than New York during the years after New York State's 1911 Sullivan Law imposed very strict gun control, while anyone could buy a shotgun in London with no questions asked in the 1950s."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;" --- William Butler Yeats "The Second Coming" (quoted in Robert B. Parker 1983, 1987 _The Widening Gyre_)  

 
 

2013-04-05

2013-04-05: USA's job markets still dysfunctional

2013-04-05
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
EPI study on staple-a-green-card
 
Interesting piece at [AAAS Science careers] on a forthcoming EPI study of the possible effects of legislation to "staple a green card to diplomas", i.e. grant instant green cards to STEM foreign students.
 
I'll make a few comments here, and then wait for the paper to come out.   But to set the stage, take a look at a site, run by the Association for Computing Machinery [ACM], the main computer science professional organization.
 
The ACM is very pro-industry, and openly biased in favor of H-1B, just as has been the case for the Computing Research Association [CRA], a university research consortium.   Its news digest site, often has items on pro-H-1B stories; I can't remember ever seeing a single case of critical articles being cited.   Indeed, the above Science Careers article won't be listed, I'm sure, even though Sciece Careers is run by the august Science Magazine.   I've written before that the person who was ACM president some years ago was highly interested in working with me on the tech age discrimination issue -- until I told her it was fueled by H-1B, which she said she didn't want ACM to touch.
 
And yet...The ACM does run its own careers news site, and it is remarkably frank, showing that the market for computer professionals is NOT a seller's market.   Just consider the headlines in the current (April 2) issue: "Five Ways to Job Hunt Using Social Media", "Avoid an Emergency Career Crisis", "Over Half of IT Work-force Unhappy with Salary", etc.   This certainly doesn't look like the "labor shortage" picture held by the inhabitants of Capitol Hill.
 
Add to that the point in the Science Careers article that STEM salaries have been flat since 1998 or so, a finding similar to that of EPI's Daniel Costa for the computer and math fields.
 
Swelling the labor market via "stapling", of course, would make things much worse, with a downward trend in wages, not just flat.   Bill Gates once said that if congress wanted to deliberately harm the American economy, the best way to do it would be to restrict tech immigration.   But it ought to be clear that just the opposite is true.   "Staple a green card" would result in STEM being, paraphrasing Yogi Berra, "so crowded that nobody goes there anymore".
 
Recall the internal NSF document I keep dragging into the conversation here, in which (a) it was proposed to bring in lots of foreign students, in order to suppress PhD wages, and (b) that the resulting stagnant salaries would drive Americans away from PhD study.   Both (a) and (b) came to pass, and are quite consistent with what Salzman et al. are predicting in their comments to Science Careers.
 
As I wrote in my Bloomberg piece a couple of months ago, it's not true that "the more, the merrier".   Flooding a labor market can drive out good people from the field, as the NSF document correctly forecast.
 
If "staple" is enacted, it will give us academics lots more to do research on in the coming years, but the odds are that it will be more toward the "post mortem" genre.   The 1950s cry, "Who lost China?" could well become "Who lost the tech industry?"   Far fetched thought?   Maybe so.   But we'll see.   As the paper quoted by Science Careers points out, no one really knows just what impact a "staple" law could have, but the authors seem to say the available evidence is grim.
 
Norm
---30---

2013-04-05
Caleb Shaw
history: actual and invented, and our inability to make accurate predictions

2013-04-05
Anthony Watts
though USA never officially agreed to Kyoto protocol, the depressed economy has reached Kyoto goal

2013-04-05
Mike Dennison & Charles S. Johnson _Billings MT Gazette_
senate Democrats/Leftists stage chaotic protest as they try to block votes on bills

2013-04-05
Paul Mulshine
Freeman Dyson speaks out about climate science, and fudge factors

2013-04-05
Beryl Lieff Benderly _AAAS Science Careers_
What "stapling a green card" proposals portend for STEM job markets
"Actual experts on the science labor force, however, see quite different possibilities: a financial bonanza for universities, economic benefits for employers, and even harder times ahead for STEM workers, who are already struggling."

2013-04-05
Michael Liedtke _Seattle WA Post Intelligencer_/_AP_
suit against tech execs for alleged mobility restriction and wage depression scheme can't proceed as class action... for now
KPIX/KCBS San Francisco CA
Seattle WA Times
"it could also expose secret discussions among prominent technology executives who entered into a 'gentlemen's agreement' not to poach employees working at their respective companies...   Other sensitive information has so far been redacted in various court documents, including parts of Koh's 53-page ruling, but more dirty laundry could be aired if the law-suit proceeds...   Documents filed in the law-suit indicated executives knew they were behaving badly.   Both Schmidt and Intel CEO Paul Otellini indicated that they were worried about the anti-recruiting agreements being discovered...   In her ruling, Koh said there's evidence that some of the employees working at the companies named in the lawsuit probably didn't earn as much money as they would have in a completely free market."

2013-04-05
Rich Galen _Town Hall_
I love political events in small cities in small counties
"Small cities, in small counties are the back-bone of American politics and, in a very real way, are the heart and soul of the American dream."

2013-04-05
Mike Shedlock _Town Hall_
jobs up a seasonally adjusted 88K in establishment survey, down 206K in household survey (with tables and graphs)
more graphs

2013-04-05
Victor Davis Hanson _St. Augustine FL_
after Obummer
Jewish World Review

2013-04-05
Neil Munro _Daily Caller_
senate immigration bill proposal would import 1M guest-workers per year
"The 1M in-flow would provide companies with almost 1 foreign worker for every 4 Americans who turn 18.   The in-flow would be high enough to fill up all the new non-farm jobs created during the last 6 months, and it is in addition to the routine annual inflow of 540K working-age immigrants.   The 1M worker in-flow would include at least 350K people capable of competing for middle-class skilled jobs sought by the 1.8M Americans who graduate from university each year.   Only about 10% of the visa workers are farm workers.   'I believe in a free-market, but this [inflow] will aggravate the problems for [American] graduates.', Richard Vedder, director of the libertarian Center for College Affordability and Productivity, told The Daily Caller... 'Why should [US citizens] be paying $100K to go to college and then get jobs working at WM or Target?'"

2013-04-05
Mike Rosenberg, Bonnie Eslinger & Aaron Kinney _San Jose CA Mercury News_
pres. Barack Obummer raising money in ritzy Atherton, one of the nation's richest ZIP codes
"Guests who paid up to $32,400 each for a brunch or a lunch at 2 picturesque Atherton homes..."

2013-04-05 (5773 Nisan 25)
Mark Clayton _Jewish World Review_
hundreds of 911 dispatch centers cyber-attacked
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "In 1980, the average tariff -- or duty that governments levied on imports and exports -- was 26.1%.   By 2002, it had fallen to 10.4%." --- Moises Naim 2005 _Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and CopyCats Are Hijacking the Global Economy_ pg18 (citing Roberet Lawson & James Gwartney 2004-07-19 "Economic Freedom Is on the Rise" _CATO Institute_ http://www.cato.org/dailys/07-19-04-2.html )  

 
 

2013-04-06

2013-04-06
_Youngstown OH Vindicator_
179 workers to be dumped when GE closes plant in 2014 after union rejected proposal to shift production from incandescent to halogen bulbs

2013-04-06
Kathy Tomlinson _CBC_
Royal Bank of Canada replacing Canadian staff with foreign guest-workers
"'There are a lot of angry people.', Moreau told Go Public.   'A lot those people are in their late 50s or early 60s.   They are not quite ready for retirement yet, but it may be very difficult to employ them.'...   In 2008, the multi-national paid $45K to settle charges by the U.S. Department of Justice for discriminating against American citizens.   iGATE was advertising jobs in the U.S. for foreign workers -- effectively saying Americans need not apply...   However, a Toronto immigration lawyer says there is no loop-hole in any visa category that allows companies to displace Canadians who are able to do the work.   'It should not happen.', Mario Bellisimo told Go Public.   'The over-arching legal standard [in Canada] is to supplement and to fill labour shortages or to bring job creation and retention, knowledge transfer to Canada, not the opposite.'...   The iGATE employees don't appear to have any special skills Canadians don't, the RBC workers told Go Public.   'That's why we are training them.', Moreau said.   'The person who is replacing me has asked a lot of questions and doesn't know a major portion of the type of systems that we are working with.'   'If they had the knowledge [to do the jobs] it would be easier to swallow.', said the unnamed employee, who predicted client service will suffer.   The workers also said they were not offered jobs with iGATE and were told this 'realignment' might expand to affect more of the bank's 57,500 employees in Canada...   'If an employer is playing some kind of a shell game, that is not consistent with the rules.', the immigration minister [Jason Kenney] said.   '[The Temporary Foreign Worker Program] is not there for employers to make short cuts to displace Canadians -- and if they are trying to do that, they should have the book thrown at them.'...   employees told Go Public fewer than 5 of 45 displaced people have found new jobs."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "If you want to change to a different branch, use git checkout.   Your current branch and HEAD ref change to match the tip of the given branch.   The git reset command does not change your branch.   However, if you supply the name of a branch, it will change the state of your current working directlry to look like the tip of the named branch.   IOW, git reset is intended to reset the current branch's HEAD reference." ---Jon Loeliger, Matthew McCullough & Avery Pennarun 2012 _Version Control with Git_ pg164  

 
 

2013-04-07

2013-04-07
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
Earth to planet FB.   Do you read me?
 
I have long felt that one of the most important societal problems is extrapolating from one's own tiny world, especially those in privileged worlds.   This has always been exemplified in my mind by the big industrial tycoon who, during the Great Depression, remarked, "Oh, I never advertise my firm on the radio on Sundays, because everyone is busy playing polo."
 
Unfortunately, the "polo player" I'll cite in this posting is someone I have admired, FB COO Sheryl Sandberg, who has now made what probably is the most outrageous statement I've encountered in all the time I've been writing about H-1B:
 
"There's not a single trained computer scientist in this country who can't get a job -- at a really high salary."
 
I, of course, know a number of unemployed or under-employed CS people, counter to Sandberg's statement.   I know a lot more who left the field after encountering repeated difficulty in finding CS work.   (As I've pointed out before, the underemployed and the left-the-fields show why unemployment.)
 
But there is more to what she said.
 
The alert reader of this e-newsletter who brought Sandberg's statement to my attention is not a fan of Sandberg's other recent statements, especially about women in tech.   Let's start with the title of the article, FB's COO Sandberg Says Parents Need To Push Girls Towards Tech.
 
My reader points out that Sandberg herself is NOT in tech.   She is NOT an engineer.   Anyone who worked for Larry Summers as chief of staff, as Sandberg did, has got to be very sharp indeed, but that doesn't mean she knows what it's like to be an engineer; she doesn't.
 
I've emphasized over the years that there is serious age discrimination in the tech industry, starting at about age 35 -- and the H-1B fuels the problem, by providing a ready supply of young workers.   And I've said the problem is even worse for women.   So should parents really push their daughters towards tech, as Sandberg says?
 
I've mentioned before that when CS enrollment plummeted following the Dot Com Bust, the female numbers dropped a lot more than the male ones.   I interpreted that as being due to women being more practical.   Hard evidence supporting that came a few months later in a survey that found that women put much more emphasis on the practical when choosing a college major, compared to male students.
 
Sandberg's boss, Mark Zuckerberg, once stated that only young people can make good software developers.   He later apologized for making the remark, but clearly he believes it.   I've visited FB on a number of occasions, and it looks like a giant dorm room; The vast majority of the developers are 20-somethings.   Just go to their slide show, and see for yourself; other than the odd manager or two, these look like my students, including my graduate students, and that's exactly what I've seen every time I've visited the place.
 
I've pointed to a number of instances in which employers say they are "desperate" to hire, but then mention that they are hiring mainly new or recent grads.   Remember, that is an official job category at these companies.   Here is one at FB, for a job titled, "Production Engineer, University".
 
I at first was puzzled by the word "university" in the job title, until I realized it means new graduate, shown in the smaller type "New Grads, Masters & PhDs."
 
I just looked at the job listings for their main location, Menlo Park.   By my count, there were 83 openings in engineering, 20 of which were for new grads and/or internships.   Most of the rest look to be aimed at 20-somethings; this one for instance, asks for 3+ years of experience, and my long observation of the industry has shown that "3+" doesn't mean 15.
 
So for those who wonder, "What planet does Sandberg live on?", the answer is "Planet FB, where all developers are below average -- in age."
 
Norm
---30---

2013-04-07< br /> Paul Driessen & James H. Rust
power-mad leftist government bureaubums delay life-saving road projects to save bats... but push wind-turbines which kill them
Town Hall
"Even the possibility of disturbing bats or their habitats would violate the act, the feds say.   Therefore, $460M in Georgia road projects have been delayed for up to eighteen months, so that 'appropriate studies' can be conducted.   The studies will cost $80K to $120K per project, bringing the total for all 104 road project analyses to $8M-12M, with delays adding millions more.   Bats are vital to our ecology, agriculture and health.   A single colony of 150 big brown bats can consume up to 1.3M flying insect pests per year, Dr. Justin Boyles and other scientists point out, preventing crop damage and eradicating countless mosquitoes.   If Indiana bats are expanding their range from Tennessee into Georgia, that could be good news...   The exempted activities involve heavily subsidized wind turbines that generate expensive, intermittent electricity and require 'backup' hydrocarbon-fueled power plants for some 80% of their rated or 'nameplate' capacity.   A US Geological Survey report investigated the causes and consequences of bat fatalities around the world.   Other analyses have addressed the violent effects that wind turbines have on bats, which are vulnerable because turbines are especially busy at night, when bats are everywhere but electricity demand is at its lowest.   Bats are struck by blades traveling 100-200 mph at their tips or felled by 'barotrauma', sudden air pressure changes that explode their lungs, as explained in a 2008 Scientific American article 'On a wing and low air: The surprising way wind turbines kill bats'.   Supposedly 'eco-friendly' wind turbines in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands kill tens of thousands of bats annually.   The Fowler Ridge and Meadow Lake facilities in northwestern Indiana already have 475 gigantic turbines on 75K acres; an additional 150 wind turbines are planned; and all are in the middle of prime Indiana bat habitat."

2013-04-07
Sara Murray _Wall Street Journal_
40% of illegal aliens over-stayed visas
"in many cases, they [abused] tourist visas to enter the USA..."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "Milan, Barcelona, San Diego, and even orderly Zurich have seen their urban landscape transformed by improvised housing that has sprouted up to shelter the illegal immigrants massively 'imported' by the people trade.   From Rio de Janeiro to Detroit, the use of public spaces in neighborhoods ravaged by drug wars has been deeply altered by the unwritten but strongly enforced rules imposed by the traffickers and their retail associates.   In American high schools -- poor and affluent alike -- drugs, pirated music, software, clothing, and, to a lesser extent, even small arms are as much a part of the experience as black-boards, books, and football games." --- Moises Naim 2005 _Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and CopyCats Are Hijacking the Global Economy_ pg33  

 
 

2013-04-08

2013-04-08
Jamie Eckle _IT World_/_IDG_
Norm Matloff, debunker of H-1B claims
ComputerWorld

2013-04-08
Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
Creative people are inventive throughout their lives
"Creative people are inventive throughout their lives.   For them, the creative process is about continuing advancement.   But in high-tech there is a tendency to believe that creativity is the domain of youth, something that may be true at FB."

2013-04-08
Bob Tisdale
"retrospective prediction" of climate using models not quite working

2013-04-08
Konrad Lawson _Chronicle of Higher Education_
resources for learning Git and GitHub

2013-04-08 (5773 Nisan 28)
Jonathan Tobin _Jewish World Review_
What part of "no pre-conditions" so American Jews not understand?
"After four years of demanding Israel freeze settlements [in Israel] as well as make other concessions prior to talks...   Hamas-run Gaza -- the independent Palestinian state... -- continuing to be a base for rocket attacks on southern Israel and with the supposed moderates of the Fatah-run PA continuing to spew hate for Jews on their official media while avoiding peace talks for years..."

2013-04-08
Michael Reagan _Town Hall_
churches backing CA's proposition 8 is provocative, but not "hateful"

2013-04-08
Star Parker _Town Hall_
Gang of 8's immigration law perversion deal should be rejected
"If we are going to tackle immigration reform, there should be agreement at the outset on what objectives should be achieved.   In my view, there should be 3.   It should enhance the freedom, fairness, and security of the nation.   If not, why bother?...   At 13.8%, black unemployment now is almost double the national average.   But according to analysis done by Remaking Debate (remakingdebate.org), unemployment among young black men with no high school diploma is 51.6%.   Unemployment among all black men and women with no high school degree is 30%."

2013-04-08
Jason Gewirtz _CBNC_
newspapers are finding ways to beat falling ad revenue
"$38.6G dollar industry last year [2012]...   Print ad revenue [dropped] 6% from the year before [2011] to $18.9G.   Retail advertising dropped 8%, classified ads...dropped 9%.   Auto ads also fell 9%, real estate advertising dropped 12%...   newspaper circulation increased in 2012 by 5%...   'digital only' revenue grew 275% in 2012...   The Newspaper Association of America gets its data from 17 newspaper companies which own 330 newspapers nationwide representing almost half of the print circulation in the country."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "You may not feel outstandngly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7*1018 joules of potential energy -- enough to explode with the force of 30 very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point.   Everything has this kind of energy trapped within it.   We're just not very good at getting it out.   Even a uranium bomb -- the most energetic thing we have produced yet -- releases less than 1% of the energy it could release if only we were more cunning." --- Bill Bryson 2003 _A Short History of Nearly Everything_ pg122  

 
 

2013-04-09

2013-04-09
Tom Blumer _PJ Media_
Jobs: 4th straight Spring-Summer bummer
graphs

2013-04-09
Anthony Watts
solar cycle seems to be past another peak

2013-04-09
Katie Pavlich _Town Hall_
separate border security legislation introduced
"As we saw with senator John McCain's border visit, the definition of what 'the border is secure' means has been fluid since talk of amnesty and an immigration overhaul began months ago.   [John Cornyn] and [Michael McCaul]'s legislation addresses this issue and gives border security a more solid definition...   'Under operational control, illegal crossers are either detected, deterred or apprehended at the border or within 100 miles of the border.   A 2011 Government Accountability Office study found that about 875 miles of the 2K-mile southern border [and of the over 8,600 total miles of land border] were under operational control...   Cornyn and McCaul's bill will also require federal agents on the border to set a 90% apprehension rate goal for people who enter the country without inspection, and set a 50% reduction in wait times at the nation's ports as the standard.'"

2013-04-09
_Town Hall_/_AP_
student who stabbed at least 14 at Lone Star College is in custody

2013-04-09
Byron York _Town Hall_
will immigration law perversion kill Rubio's presidential chances?

2013-04-09
Chuck Norris _Town Hall_
income extortionists now robo-auditing your spending
"These are the types of invasive tax maneuvers that boiled the blood of our Founding Fathers.   But there's still a way out of all our Internal Revenue Service wars and woes.   U.S. News & World Report highlighted some more encroaching news this past week in the article 'IRS High-Tech Tools Track Your Digital Footprints'.   The IRS is 'collecting a lot more than taxes this year', the report explained.   'It's also acquiring a huge volume of personal information on [tax-victims'] digital activities, from eBay auctions to FB posts and, for the first time ever, credit card and e-payment transaction records.'"

2013-04-09
John Hawkins _Town Hall_
25 greatest quotes from Margaret Thatcher

2013-04-09
David Limbaugh _Town Hall_
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness"
"Increasingly today, what is undeniably evil is depicted as good and what most traditionalists, at least, used to agree is good passes often for evil.   What's striking to me is that many aren't merely rationalizing evil in an attempt to excuse their indefensible actions.   They have systematically turned our entire moral code upside down.   They have attacked the very basis for that code and declared that belief in its divine author itself is evil -- and dangerous."

2013-04-09
Todd Starnes _Town Hall_
Why Obummer is trying to deport this legal immigrant family, includig their US citizen anchor baby
Robert Knight

2013-04-09
Katie Pavlich _Town Hall_
Mitch McConnell says he will join a filibuster of 2nd amendment violation act

2013-04-09
Patrick J. Buchanan _Town Hall_
Where have all the workers gone?
graphs

2013-04-09
Jerry Bowyer _Town Hall_
stock markets are forecasting continued economic depression

2013-04-09
Christopher S. Rugaber   Paul Wiseman _San Jose CA Mercury News_/_AP_
execs, recruiters posting more job ads, seem in no hurry to hire
"Economists point to several factors: Some unemployed workers lack the skills employers want.   Some companies may not be offering enough pay.   And staffing firms and employment experts say that in a still-fragile economy, many businesses seem hesitant to commit to new hires.   They appear to be holding out for the perfect candidate...   Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, says that until employers fill a job opening, they feel they're 'saving a ton of money by leaving the position open'.   That dynamic won't change, Cappelli says, until the economy grows fast enough that people feel comfortable about quitting to find jobs elsewhere."

2013-04-09
Rick Santorum _Town Hall_
What is YOUR American dream?

2013-04-09
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
more on FB, Realm of the Young
 
Pat Thibodeau of ComputerWorld [an IDG publication] has posted a web log summarizing my comments the other day on the age issue at FB.   You may recall that among other things, I cited FB COO Sheryl Sandberg's flat statement there is not a single unemployed CS person in the nation, and that they are all making very high salaries.   Those who are unemployed or under-employed (e.g. the software contractors with fewer gigs than before) and those who have simply been forced out of the field, find her remark outrageous.
 
Most of the CW web log is a summary of what I wrote in the above posting.   But it does mention a recent NYT op-ed expressing the view that employers are shooting themselves in the foot by filtering out the older applicants.
 
Thibodeau says, "FB probably isn't hiring young people to save money.   Its founder is only 28."   There are a couple of comments that need to be made here.
 
First, as I said in my posting, Zuckerberg has stated publicly that older programmers are not as good.   I would strongly dispute that.   Though again I must point out that no employer should hire a weak or even mediocre programmer, young or old, as they get in the way, I submit that in my own case, I'm a better programmer than ever.   My long experience in the field enables me to learn new programming languages faster, track down bugs faster, better avoid introducing bugs in the first place, and better plan out what I want my code to do, compared to in the past.
 
Second, though Zuckerberg may not have money in mind, his HR department probably DOES try to filter out the older workers on cost grounds.   This is pretty standard for HR, and I doubt that FB is any exception.
 
I've known a lot of people who applied to FB and did or did not get job offers, and I would say the quality of the two groups is similar.   Anecdotally, my observation has been that the ones who didn't get an offer (or even a phone interview) have tended to be age 30 or above.   A look at the images on FB's web page, confirmed by my various visits to the company, is consistent with that.
 
Zuckerberg may be entitled to his prejudices and Sandberg to her ignorance (though Zuck might be vulnerable to a law-suit), but for them to put forth this big image of a tech labor shortage is just not proper.   As some of you may know, Zuckerberg has started his own immigration lobbying initiative.
 
Norm
---30---

2013-04-09
Daniel Doherty _Town Hall_
Ron Paul trade-marks his home-school curriculum
Ron Paul Curriculum
intro
"It does not assign text-books.   This saves families a lot of money.   Textbooks cost a great deal of money.   Almost all of the materials are free: toner and paper only.   The few exceptions are modern novels and a few classic books on liberty, such as Hayek's _The Road to Serfdom_.   This curriculum is 98% self-taught above the 5th grade.   Students teach themselves.   Then they tutor each other...   Students start writing in the fourth grade.   They do not stop until they graduate.   I doubt that they will ever stop.   Every high school student has to set up at least 1 web-site.   The curriculum centers around weekly essays.   Parents should probably read them.   If they want to grade them, that's fine.   If they don't, that's also fine.   No student who gets through this curriculum will ever need to be nagged to get through college, graduate school, or a career.   This curriculum teaches self-discipline.   This is a crucial personal habit.   It is mostly internal.   It develops after years of working in an environment that requires self-disciplne.   For students who hustle, they will enter college as juniors.   They will quiz out of their first two years of college for about $2,500, total (today's money, of course)...   The man who teaches the public speaking course in grade 9 and the literature courses for grades 6 through 8 graduated from an accredited college on his 18th birthday.   He paid for his own college education by working part time in his own home business.   It cost him under $15K...   The curriculum for grades K-5 is completely FREE.   The curriculum will be made available on the web-site free of charge...   For grades 6-12 there are two separate expenses for each student, (a) tuition, and (b) courses.   Tuition. The tuition is $250 per student, per year. Please note that this is $250 per student, not per family.   Courses. Each course costs $50 per student... Please note that the Ron Paul Curriculum will not be available online until September 2. The $25 one-time fee gets you Dr. Gary North's course on Preparation for High School... On 2013 September 2...the following courses will be available: English: grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; history: grades 6, 7, 8, 10; math: grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; science: grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; public speaking; government; economics 1."

2013-04-09
Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
unemployment for electrical engineers has soared
"Electrical engineering jobs declined by 40K in the first quarter, and the unemployment rate in the category rose to 6.5% [as compared with the unemployment rate in times of full employment at about 0.5% to 1%], based on an analysis of U.S. [BLS] data by the IEEE-USA...   unemployment for software developers in the first quarter was at 2.2%.   In 2012 the unemployment rate was 2.8% and in 2011, 4% [as compared with the unemployment rate in times of full employment at about 1% to 1.5%]."
The current unemployment rate for actors is about 24% -- on the low side of the typical 25% to 55%, but above the full employment level of about 10%...jgo
slash dot discussion

2013-04-09
Dhanya Ann Thoppil _Fox_/_Dow Jones_
Tata to buy French IT bodyshop Alti for $98M
"The acquisition is the largest for TCS in continental Europe after its 2006 purchase of Swiss firm TKS-Teknosoft for over 100M Swiss francs ($107M)...   Infosys Ltd. last September bought Swiss business consulting firm Lodestone Holding AG for an enterprise value of about $350M to expand its consulting offerings in Europe.   In December, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., a U.S.A.-based [bodyshop owned jointly by Dun & Bradstreet and Satyam] with more than three-quarters of its employees in India, bought 6 companies from Germany's consulting and IT [bodyshop] C1 Group for an undisclosed amount."

2013-04-09 (5773 Nisan 29)
Dennis Prager _Jewish World Review_
Holocaust lessons that don't force guilt or anger
Town Hall

2013-04-09 (5773 Nisan 29)
Tom Purcell _Jewish World Review_
Obummer's notion of financial responsibility

2013-04-09 (5773 Nisan 29)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
"proportional" response
Town Hall
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "Indeed, it is the nature of the & in R&D that can make the difference between success or failure of the enterprise. Essentially a ligature for et, which is the Latin word for and, the ampersand is among the greatest curiosities of typography.   In fact, at one time & was included as a part of the English alphabet, coming after the letter z, and children would conclude their recital of their ABCs with '...X, Y, Z, & per se, and.'   The seemingly unpronouceable finial & was in fact pronounced 'and'. Over time, 'and per se, and', which was often slurred in speech, became corrupted into the word ampersand." --- Henry Petroski 2010 _The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems_ pg97 (citing Michael Quinion "World Wide words: Amersand" http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-amp1.htm)  

 
 

2013-04-10

2013-04-10
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
older tech worker case study
 
After I made the posting to my e-news-letter this afternoon, a reader sent me the remarks below, which I am displaying here with his permission.   Let's call him MR, for My Reader.
 
For those of you non-techie readers -- academics, journalists, policy makers and so on -- I think the message below will be highly illuminating.   Pure numbers, of which I've provided a lot, don't tell the full story, and the industry lobbyists' mesmerizing images work quite effectively even on people who are normally careful thinkers.
 
So consider this a value case study.   In particular, please carefully note the following:
 
1.   Note that MR is a contractor.   This is extremely common in the software world, and in other tech areas.   As I said earlier today and have emphasized many times, contractors don't show up in unemployment data, even if they find it harder to get contracts, and find that they need to lower their rates substantially.   So the industry lobbyists' citing of unemployment rates is misleading (especially, as I've said, when one takes in account the former programmers and engineers who had to bail out of the field when it became hard to find work).
 
2.   MR knows his stuff.   He's got two master's degrees, one of which he earned later in his career.   So all this talk from the industry lobbyists that the older workers can't be hired because they haven't kept up with their skill sets is false in MR's case, and is false in the cases of many, many people I know like him.
 
3.   MR has given up in trying to get work with those Silicon Valley companies that are seeking skills like his, because he doesn't look like the people in the pictures on FB's careers web page, which effectively bans him from the premises.   As one young Silicon Valley engineer once explained to me, people like MR "don't fit The Profile" -- the profile being young, and by the way, being single.   It's a classic case of "I only hire people who look like me."   After all, what college kid wants to invite people his parents' age to his dorm party?
 
More regarding Point 2 above: Today I heard from a researcher who said he supports H-1B, providing there are protections for American workers and providing that more funding is provided for STEM education to remedy the STEM labor shortage.   I hear this all the time from the "pro-industry people", and it makes my head spin.
 
If we do have a STEM labor shortage, why the need for protections????   Those with a STEM education should be able to easily get work at high salaries (just like Sandberg says).
 
On the other hand, if there is no STEM labor shortage, and in fact it's not so easy for many Americans in STEM to get work, why would we want to get more college students in to STEM?
 
You can't have it both ways.
 
That brings up some other riddles:
 
A.   If only the young new graduates have the latest skills, who taught them those skills?   Answer: Old guys like me.
 
B.   If technology changes so rapidly that tech workers become quickly marginalized (recall Intel chairman Craig Bennett saying, "The half life of an engineer, hardware or software, is only a few years."), then what sense does it make to give green cards to new foreign STEM graduates from U.S. schools?   After a few years, they too will have out-lived their usefulness, becoming just like MR or worse, and will be permanent fixtures in the labor market.   (This insight was brought to my attention by another astute reader.)
 
C.   Which one is right -- Barrett or Sandberg? Need I answer that one?
 
MR's remarks follow below.   (SV = Silicon Valley, SWE = software engineer, PM = Product Manager.   Not sure why he lumps Thibodeau in with the rest, as his article was sympathetic, but MR's frustration comes through clearly.)
 
Norm
 
*******************************
 
I have a long resume with SWE experience and PM experience showing. I rarely get responses on this resume when submitting to SV companies, because it obviously took some years to get the experience.   Banks, OTOH, like the long resume, but they can have qualms when I show up for the in-person with gray hair.   (So what do they think it took to get the experience?)
 
I have managed to stay relatively consistently employed over the years, but it's not like when I first started doing contracts.   I would leave one job on a Friday and walk into a new one the following Monday.   Now it takes several months of getting back into the interview mode and finding the right contract.   And I've got the gray hair.   So of course I start looking 3 months before I think the current contract will end.
 
But Thibodeau and Zuck are so totally lacking in understanding the experiences of most Americans that their opinions are almost laughable.   They're like that industrialist (I think it was your story) who said he didn't advertise on radio on Saturdays because everybody was out playing polo.   The lack of ability to empasize is astounding.   They would give Marie Antoinette a run for her money.

---30---

2013-04-10
Brett French _Billings MT Gazette_
seismic sensors detect interactions between Lake Yellowstone seiche waves and crust

2013-04-10
Ian Smith _PJ Media_
AG Eric Holder's schedule includes frequent meetings with groups focused on race

2013-04-10
Thomas Sowell _Town Hall_
tests and "tiger moms"
"New York City's Stuyvesant High School is one of those all too rare public schools for intellectually outstanding students.   Such students are often bored to death in schools where the work is geared to the lowest common denominator, and it is by no means uncommon for very bright students to become behavior problems.   Recent statistics on the students who passed the examination to get into Stuyvesant High School raise troubling questions that are unlikely to receive the kind of serious answers they deserve.   These successful applicants included 9 black students, 24 Latino students, 177 white students and 620 Asian Americans...   Back in the decade of the 1960s, students from the Chinese minority in Malaysia earned 20 times as many Bachelor of Science degrees as students from the Malay majority.   In Sri Lanka, children from the Tamil minority consistently outperformed members of the Sinhalese majority on university admissions tests and, in at least one year, made an absolute majority of the A's on those tests.   Back in the days of the Ottoman Empire, Armenian students did better than Turkish students when it came to writing in the Turkish language...   When teaching at UCLA, years ago, I once went into a library on a Saturday night, noticed how many Asian students were studying -- and looked around in vain for any black students.   How surprised should I have been when Asian students did better in the courses I taught?   A few years ago, professor Amy Chua of Yale caused a controversy when she wrote a book about Asian 'Tiger Moms' who put heavy pressure on their children to succeed in school.   But a more recent book (_Gifted Hands_) by black neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson shows that his mother was as much of a Tiger Mom as the Asians...   But Tiger Moms get results.   Unfortunately, we are at a stage where the interests of race hustlers is to cry 'unfair' at the tests -- and they have a lot more political clout than black Tiger Moms have.   So long as the rest of us are silenced by political correctness, racial progress on that front is unlikely.   Put differently, whole generations of black young people can continue to go down the drain because their fate carries less weight than fashionable racial rhetoric."

2013-04-10
Michelle Malkin _Town Hall_
no tears for terrorist conspirator Lynne Stewart
"Stewart was convicted in 2005 of helping terrorist Rahman -- the bloodstained Blind Sheik -- smuggle coded messages of Islamic violence to outside followers in violation of an explicit pledge to abide by her client's court-ordered isolation.   Rahman, Stewart's 'political client', had called on Muslims to 'destroy' the West, 'burn their companies, eliminate their interests, sink their ships, shoot down their planes, kill them on the sea, air or land'.   He issued bloody fatwas against U.S. 'infidels' that inspired the 1993 WTC bombing, the 1997 massacre of Western tourists in Luxor, Egypt, and the 2001/09/11 attacks.   Defying a judge's communications ban, Stewart ferreted messages to the Blind Sheik from fellow jihadist Rifa'l Ahman Tara urging him to support a new wave of Islamic violence in Egypt...   A federal panel of judges excoriated her for her sickening arrogance.   'From the moment she committed the first act for which she was convicted, through her trial, sentencing and appeals', Judge Robert Sack of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals wrote, 'Stewart has persisted in exhibiting what seems to be a stark inability to understand the seriousness of her crimes.'"

2013-04-10
John Stossel _Town Hall_
government plays favorites
"both major political parties failed ordinary Americans when the housing bubble burst, and they rushed to bail out cronies at big banks.   Government continues to threaten our future by printing gobs of money and guaranteeing trillions in loans to banks, home-owners, students and other politically connected groups."

2013-04-10
Anthony Watts
high-res images of Korea... and fishing boats, all at night, from space

2013-04-10
Steve Goreham
Pacific coast export terminals and the eco-fascist war on coal
Washington DC Times
"In 2011, the US exported 89M metric tons of coal, up 143% from 2002.   Most of those exports went through the East Coast ports of Norfolk, New Orleans, and Baltimore to Europe, which is using more coal...   In 1900, coal provided 70% of US energy consumption."

2013-04-10
Stephen Dinan _Washington DC Times_
barbarian invasion stepping up ahead of votes on immigration law changes
"Apprehensions of illegal immigrants are up 13% this year, the chief of the U.S. Border Patrol testified to congress on Wednesday as law-makers continued to bash the [Obummer regime] for failing to have a way of measuring how secure the borders are."

2013-04-10
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
on the cusp of historic change?
 
Interesting article from Reuters, much more balanced and informed than most.   A number of points are worth comment:
 
IEEE-USA's Russ Harrison makes his usual points, with which I agree except for his support for green cards.   But it's interesting that he complains that his own members are just not the activist type.   I of course have mentioned that about programmers and engineers too.   Many feel strongly, but calling their elected officials is just something they aren't comfortable with.
 
They probably don't realize just had bad things might become.   congress appears to be on the verge of taking action of truly historic proportions.   I would not be surprised to see people asking in future years, "Who lost tech?" in the same manner of those in who demanded to know "Who lost China?" in the 1950s.
 
For instance, Politico reported today,
 
**********************
 
And senate majority whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said he was close to resolving a lingering dispute with Rubio, the Florida Republican, over the number of H1-B visas to provide "high-skill" foreign workers.   [Actually, there are no skill level standards...jgo]
 
Senate negotiators are closing in on a proposal floated by Durbin that would award visas to 30% of foreign workers for every 70% of U.S. workers in high-skill jobs.   This has upset many in the tech community who wanted more foreign workers, according to a tech lobbyist close to the negotiations.
 
**********************

 
My query to a Durbin staffer this morning concerning details has not yet been answered.   But that last sentence ("...upset many in the tech community...") notwithstanding, this is a stunning proposal.   There are about a million IT workers in the U.S.A., so the proposal would allow 300K visas just from IT!
 
One wonders where that 30% figure comes from.   Even MSFT, whose figures and hiring policy many have questioned, only claims a vacancy rate of 10%.   So 30% seems outlandish even if one accepts the industry's claims.
 
And on what basis would that 30% figure be calculated?   All of STEM?   If so, the fields that don't traditionally hire H-1Bs could "subsidize" those that do.   We could see something approaching 100% of all Software Engineer jobs go to H-1Bs, for example.
 
Getting back to the Reuters piece, we again see the industry argument that the H-1Bs are "the best and the brightest" -- and once again, see no evidence offered by the industry to support their claim.   As most of you know, the actual evidence is overwhelmingly to the contrary.
 
One of those quoted making the "best and brightest" argument in the article is Nathan Blecharczyk of Airbnb.   So as usual, I looked into the firm a bit.
 
To begin with, the firm looks just like the description I gave of FB the other day: A bunch of 20-somethings with a few in their 30s.   Take a look for yourself.
 
[And again here we see the same appeal to the young crowd.]
 
**********************
 
In particular, we need some front end engineers!! http://www.airbnb.com/jobs/position?jvi=omNoVfwc E-mail me directly if you are a badass front end engineer and like mustaches & ridiculous sunglasses - chris@airbnb.com
 
**********************

 
One unusual aspect of this company is that a number of its users seem to be H-1Bs!   Just plug "H-1B Airbnb" into Google.
 
Of course, I also looked at Airbnb's records in LCAs (H-1B) and PERM (green cards).   Again, a typical pattern: Offered salaries are higher than the legal requirement (a lowball figure), but below the overall median.   And the offered salaries are lower than "best and brightest" levels (see my EPI paper).
 
So, if Blecharczyk is so keen on getting "the best and the brightest", why isn't he offering commensurate wages?   Indeed, the economics doctoral student quoted at the end of the article puts it quite correctly:
 
**********************
 
But he says that as long as companies are free to headhunt employees from rivals and woo qualified professionals from other industries, it's difficult to say shortages exist.
 
"If companies want more workers they can all raise wages and attract more people.", Golden said.
 
**********************

 
Correction: In my posting yesterday of remarks by software engineer "MR", he had incorrectly included journalist Pat Thibodeau in his list of "Marie Antoinettes", the other being FB CEO Mark Zuckerberg.   MR tells me he meant to include FB COO Sheryl Sandberg along with Zuck, but had mistakenly written Thibodeau instead of Sandberg.
 
Norm
---30---

2013-04-10
Bob Owens _PJ Media_
Obummer's habitual prevarication: about arms
"At that time, the president, then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton, and U.S. attorney general Eric Holder were heavily invested in promoting the deceptive theory that the supermajority of firearms being used by Mexican drug cartels were being purchased at gun stores in the United States and shipped over the border.   The facts, however, didn't come close to supporting the administration's preposterous claim.   The automatic weapons being used by cartel gunmen and recovered at crime scenes -- selective-fire AK-pattern assault rifles, M16 and M4 selective-fire assault rifles, hand grenades, 40mm grenade launchers, and more than a few heavy machine guns -- are heavily regulated in the United States, and have been since the [unconstitutional] National Firearms Act was passed in 1934.   Purchasing such firearms requires extensive and in-depth background checks, registration, finger-printing, a $200 tax stamp, and other onerous regulations.   This has kept the number of these so-called 'NFA' weapons to just roughly 250K in the United States.   The Hughes Amendment tacked on to a federal bill in the mid 1980s means that no new NFA selective-fire weapons or machine guns have been released to the qualified general public for 27 years.   The result is that these firearms are now cost-prohibitive collectors' items, costing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.   The president was attempting to sell the absurd claim that a civilian M16 worth $20K was being used once and discarded, when the firearms recovered were those stolen or sold by corrupt Mexican officials to the cartels, along with AK-47 and AKM assault rifles that can be picked up around the world for as low as $25 and moved in the same smuggling routes used by the cartels to move their drugs.   The '90%' lie was gutted by officials of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) in sworn testimony before congress..."

2013-04-10
Sarah McBride, Noel Randewich, Jonathan Weber & Tim Dobbyn _Oregon Herald_
Many question claims of "skilled worker shortage"
WHBL
Chicago IL Tribune
Town Hall
"Technology [executives] support raising the H-1B quota almost 5-fold, to 300K, arguing universities are just not turning out enough American math and science graduates and they need to cast their net abroad to stay competitive [while some research suggests that only about a third of US STEM workers are landing STEM jobs].   The 200K-member U.S. chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers rejects the claim of a broad shortage of tech workers and opposes more H-1Bs...   Tech [executive lobbyists] point to an unemployment rate of around 3.5% for those with advanced computer and math experience, [while STEM professionals point out that this is about 3 times the rate durign times of full employment and] in line with other professional occupations...   The United States issued 129K H-1B visas last year -- almost double the official cap...   The 3-year visas can be extended to 6 years [and then extended on a year-by-year basis], so there are likely hundreds of thousands of H-1B workers, half of them in computer-related fields, according to government data.   There is no exact count of H-1Bs [or any other visa] in use at any given time [but visa over-stayers are starting to contribute significantly to total estimates of illegal aliens]...   According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of Homeland Security, 90% of all H-1B holders are 39 or younger...   Computer and Internet companies spent an estimated $132.5M on lobbying last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.   Tech executives including Cisco Systems Inc Chief Executive John Chambers and venture capitalist John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers flew to Washington last month to discuss immigration reform with the White House and Congressional leaders."

2013-04-10
R.G. Hicks _Re-Innovating America_
The USA STEM talent glut: even the NYTimes doesn't get it

2013-04-10
Walter E. Williams _Town Hall_
black unemployment
"Black unemployment has been double that of white Americans for more than 50 years.   The black youth unemployment rate is more than 40% nationally.   In some cities, unemployment for black working-age males is more than 50%.   Let's look at this, but first let's look at some history.   From 1900 to 1954, blacks were more active than whites in the labor market.   Until about 1960, black male labor force participation in every age group was equal to or greater than that of whites.   During that period, black teen unemployment was roughly equal to or less than white teen unemployment.   As early as 1900, the duration of black unemployment was 15% shorter than that of whites; today it's about 30% longer.   To do something about today's employment picture requires abandonment of sacred cows and honesty...   I was a teenager during the late 1940s, living in North Philadelphia's Richard Allen housing project.   Youngsters in my neighborhood who sought after-school, weekend or summer jobs found them.   I picked blueberries in New Jersey, caddied at Cobbs Creek Golf Club, shoveled snow for the Philadelphia Transportation Company, delivered packages for a milliner, performed janitorial work at Horn & Hardart restaurant, and huckstered fruits and vegetables.   As a high-school student, Christmas employment for me included after-school and weekend work at Sears, Roebuck and Company's mail-order house, and one year, I delivered mail for the U.S. Post Office.   Such opportunities for early work experiences are all but gone for today's teens living in Richard Allen homes.   A major reason is the minimum wage law, which makes hiring low-skilled workers a losing economic proposition.   In 1950, only 50% of jobs were covered by the minimum wage law.   That meant the minimum wage didn't have today's unemployment effect.   Today nearly 100% are covered.   Today's child labor laws prevent youngsters from working in perfectly safe environments.   The minimum wage has destroyed many jobs.   That's why, for example, in contrast with the past, today's gasoline stations are self-service and theater ushers are non-existent.   Then there are super-minimum wage laws, such as the Davis-Bacon Act, which were written for the express purposes of excluding blacks from government-financed or -assisted construction projects.   Labor unions have a long history of discrimination against blacks.   Frederick Douglass wrote about this in 'The Tyranny, Folly, and Wickedness of Labor Unions', and Booker T. Washington did so in 'The Negro and the Labor Unions'.   To the detriment of their constituents, black politicians give support to labor laws pushed by unions and white [leftist] organizations.   Then there's education.   Black youths are becoming virtually useless for the increasingly high-tech world of the 21st century.   According to a 2001 report by Abigail Thernstrom, 'The Racial Gap in Academic Achievement', many black 12th-graders dealt with scientific problems at the level of whites in the sixth grade; they wrote about as well as whites in the eighth grade.   The average black high-school senior had math skills on a par with a typical white student in the middle of seventh grade.   The average 17-year-old black student could only read as well as the typical white child who had not yet reached age 13.   That means an employer hiring the typical black high-school graduate is in effect hiring an eighth-grader."

2013-04-10 (5773 Nisan 30)
Eryn Brown _Jewish World Review_
74 DNA discoveries increase likelihood of cures for 3 cancer strains
"74 newly discovered regions of DNA that are associated with breast, ovarian and prostate cancers -- diseases that strike about half a million Americans every year."

2013-04-10 (5773 Nisan 30)
Peter Grier _Jewish World Review_
How good is the USA's missile defense system?
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "The Linux Kernel project is the canonical example of a highly distributed repository and development process.   In each Linux Kernel release, there are roughly 1K to 1,300 individual contributors from approximately 200 companies.   Over the last 20 kernel releases 92.6.24 through 3.3), the corp of developers averaged just over 10K commits per release.   Releases were made on an average 82-day cycle.   That's between 4 & 6 commits per hour, every development hour, somewhere on the planet.   The rate-of-change trend is upward still.   (Kernel statistics from the Linux Foundation Publications link http://go.linuxfoundation.org/who-writes-linux-2012 for the Linux Foundation report by Jonathan Corbet et al., titled 'Linux Kernel Development'." --- Jon Loeliger, Matthew McCullough & Avery Pennarun 2012 _Version Control with Git_ pg246  

 
 

2013-04-11

2013-04-11 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT) (14:30 Jerusalem)
Tom Stengle & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
DoL OPA press releases
historical data
DoL regulations
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 353,973 in the week ending April 6, an increase of 37,025 from the previous week.   There were 390,064 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5% during the week ending March 30, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,266,392, a decrease of 84,488 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,350,880.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.7% and the volume was 3,470,104.   The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending March 23 was 5,277,512, a decrease of 10,573 from the previous week.   There were 6,952,894 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2012.   Extended Benefits were available only in Alaska during the week ending March 23...   States reported 1,837,554 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending March 23, an increase of 37,929 from the prior week.   There were 2,794,553 persons claiming EUC in the comparable week in 2012.   EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.   [Note that the population used for calculating the "insured unemployment rate" (the divisor) changes roughly quarterly:
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;
to 125,572,661 beginning 2011-04-02;
to 125,807,389 beginning 2011-07-02;
to 126,188,733 beginning 2011-10-01;
to 126,579,970 beginning 2012-01-01;
to 127,048,587 beginning 2012-04-07;
to 127,495,952 beginning 2012-07-14;
to 128,066,082 beginning 2012-10-06;
to 128,613,913 beginning 2013-01-05;
to 129,204,324 beginning 2013-04-06.]
EUC (Excel)
EB
graphs
more graphs

2013-04-11
Charlie Osborne _Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
Tech execs lobby for more cheap, young, pliant foreign labor with questionable ethics, while US STEM professionals lobby for visa reductions and higher standards
CNET
"a number of tech [executives and their hired hands] are lobbying to raise the official cap on H-1B visas...   Over 100 [executives and thousands of STEM professionals] have petitioned congress for a 'market-based' visa system which is flexible enough to change depending on market conditions [reducing in times of excessive unemployment and under-employment such as the last 2 decades, and expanding when unemployment rates are below full employment levels]...   In Australia, the prime minister says many firms are abusing the 457 visa application system, and using it to hire foreign IT workers when local talent could take the roles instead.   According to the PM, the IT industry is the worst offender, and because of the visa abuse, the government plans to tighten restrictions on immigration.   According to the publication, an estimated $132.5M was spent last year on lobbying Congress by computing and Internet [executives]...   Last year, [over] 129K H-1B visas were issued..."

2013-04-11
Robert Moore _Cenantua_
Tennessee Ernie Ford and the Civil War

2013-04-11
_Polling Report_
job ratings of congress
Real Clear Politics: rating congress
Rasmussen: daily job ratings of pres. Obummer
Gallup: rating pres. Obummer
Gallup: 2013-03-11: rating congress

2013-04-11
Jim Clifton _Gallup_
The Coming Jobs War: Why "entrepreneurs" matter more than "innovators"

2013-04-11
Mathew J. Schwartz _Information Week_/_UBM_
How South Korea traced hacker to Pyongyang
"the IP address was traced to the Ryugyong-dong residential district of Pyongyang.   The IP address is registered to a company called Star Joint Venture (Star JV), which is North Korea's sole service provider, and also administers the country's top-level '.kp' domain.   Star JV is a joint venture between the Pyongyang regime that rules North Korea -- officially known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) -- and Loxley Pacific Company, a Thai company...   In related news, Pyongyang Monday bolstered the country's Internet connectivity by adding another connection to [Red China Unicom], this time via a link to Hong Kong."

2013-04-11
Anthony Watts
NOAA: 2012 summer drought not caused by "global warming"

2013-04-11
Peter Schmidt _Chronicle of Higher Education_
FAU reprimanded tenured communications prof who criticized police and media over coverage of multiple-murders
The university administrators' actions continue to adversely affect the legitimate interests and reputation of the university, and constitute misconduct...jgo

2013-04-11
Robert J. Samuelson _Investor's Business Daily_
Obummer budget proposal does not address crisis of unconstitutional/excessive "entitlements"
"proposed $3.778T budget for 2014...   From 2014 to 2023, the administration projects annual spending on [Socialist Insecurity] to rise from $860G [$0.86T] to $1.4T, assuming its proposal for altering the inflation adjustment of benefits [abusing the 'chained CPI'] is adopted.   Over the same years, annual Medicare and Medicaid spending would go from $828G [$0.828T] to $1.4T.   Meanwhile, defense spending would barely rise from $618G to $631G.   Non-defense 'discretionary' spending (a catch-all covering everything from Head Start to the weather service) would increase from $624G to $647G...   Defense and non-defense 'discretionary' spending decline by 22% from 2014 to 2023...   [Socialist Insecurity] rises 25%, Medicare and Medicaid 27%."

2013-04-11
Mickey Kaus _Daily Caller_
anti-reform march in DC was tiny
"The pro-amnesty rally in front of the U.S. Capitol was described as 'massive' on my local NPR station even before it had taken place.   Here is an NBC newscast with a pretty good photo-not an up-close photo, but one that lets you gauge the size of the crowd.   It's not massive!   It's not even very large.   I'd say 10K or fewer.   [Obummer's] new high-tech political machine, Organizing for Action, doesn't seem to have played a huge role in the rally.   It declared a 'week of action' on immigration, but that was last week.   (You missed it?)   Why is OFA not making its presence known on the President's biggest possible domestic legislative achievement?   1) OFA isn't all it's cracked up to be–or at least isn't up and running yet;   2) OFA is sandbagging all of us, giving us the impression it's a paper tiger in order to lull us to sleep before it unleashes its full social-media-driven populist fury when the amnesty bill is on the Senate floor;   3) OFA is cunning, having realized that big marches at which illegal immigrants demand amnesty from the country they are not supposed to be in actually turns voters off;   4) OFA, and other organizers, are trying, but there's just not as much popular demand for amnesty as we have been led to believe.   It's the press, political, and business elite that is obsessed with producing an amnesty, not the populace–even on the pro-amnesty side...   P.S.: I went to an L.A. 'action', a demonstration outside senator Dianne Feinstein's Westwood office.   There were about 400 demonstrators, by my estimate–mainly union types (SEIU).   Unimpressive photo here.   The usual splinter-group signs about how I may think Mexicans are in my country but actually I am on Mexican land were absent, as were the tens of thousands of ordinary Piolin listeners who made the 2006 Gran Marcha so gran (impressive photo here).   No Mexican flags, no U.S. flags.   No flags of any kind! Asians were given token prominence at the microphone, but the crowd was 95% Latino (and zero percent African-American).   Unintentionally revealing slogan on poster demanding extended family unification: 'No one left behind'.   P.P.S.: NBC's Tom Costello gives the impression that the pending 'Gang of 8' compromise is a deal worked out between 'both sides', as opposed to a deal between 8 amnesty supporters, who may or may not have enough votes in the senate."

2013-04-11
Jim Geraghty _National Review_
EB-5 visa scam
"The company, founded by Terry McAuliffe, is now a top issue in this year's Virginia race for governor. Until recently, the controversy over the company centered on the firm's 2009 October decision to build a plant in Mississippi instead of Virginia. McAuliffe contended that he wanted to build a plant in Virginia, but the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) -- the state's business-recruitment agency -- wouldn't play ball. 'We had sites, we had meetings, and they chose that they weren't going to bid on it.', McAuliffe declared. PolitiFact looked at the paperwork and rated that assertion false, concluding that 'VEDP asked GreenTech to address its concerns and waited in vain for replies'... At least 2 high-ranking officials actually suspected that the company's real aim was to make money by selling U.S. residency visas to wealthy foreigners... 'Sandi et al. Even if the company has investors lined up, I maintain serious concerns about the establishment of an EB-5 center in general, and most specifically based on this company. Not only based on (lack of) management expertise, (lack of) market preparation, etc. but also still can't get my head around this being anything other than a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications that we have no way to confirm or discount... This feels like a national political play instead of a Virginia economic development opportunity.'... High on its list of priorities was the establishment of a 'Regional Center' to help attract foreign investors who would also be interested in obtaining an EB-5 U.S. residency visa... According to one advocate for the program quoted in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, three out of every 4 visa recipients come from [Red China]."

2013-04-11 (5773 Iyar 01)
Victor Davis Hanson _Jewish World Review_
nuclear North Korean, nuclear Iran
"A nuclear Iran would neither worry about a billion-person, nuclear existential enemy nearby like India, nor a billion-person patron like China that would establish redlines to its periodic madness.   Instead, Teheran would be free to do and say what it pleased.   And its nuclear status would become a force multiplier to its enormous oil wealth and self-acclaimed world leadership of Shiite Muslims.   If North Korea has been a danger, then a bigger, richer and undeterred nuclear Iran would be a nightmare."

2013-04-11 (5773 Iyar 01)
judge Andrew P. Napolitano _Jewish World Review_
UAVs, guns and the Obummer regime
"Due process is the command of the Fifth Amendment.   'Due process' is the jurisprudential phrase for a fair jury trial and the accompanying constitutional protections.   The reasons we have these protections are the wish of the Framers that our natural rights -- here, the rights to life, liberty and property and to fairness from the government -- be guaranteed and their fear that they not suffer under another Star Chamber.   Star Chamber was a secret gaggle of advisers to British kings that decided who among the king's adversaries would lose his life, liberty or property without due process.   Once that decision was made, it was carried out.   Paul articulated all of this during his filibuster.   He did not read gibberish, as those who have filibustered in the past sometimes have done.   He made principled moral and legal arguments for 13 hours.   His arguments read like a passionate college lecture on personal liberty in a free society."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "And indeed, when the Italians escorted the BBC China to the port of Taranto and inspected its cargo, they found just what they expected: specialized parts for building a centrifuge, specifically a nuclear centrifute designed to enrich uranium to the isotope 235 -- the raw material of atom bombs." --- Moises Naim 2005 _Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and CopyCats Are Hijacking the Global Economy_ pg38 (citing "A Tale of Nuclear Proliferation: How a Pakistani Built His Network" 2004-02-12 _NYTimes_ pgA1; Stephen Fidler & Victoria Burnett 2004-04-07 "The Nuclear Entrepreneur: Kahn's Network Shows Terrorists Have a Lot More Options Than We Thought" _Financial Times_; Anthony Barnett 2004-01-18 "Revealed: How Pakistan Fuels Nuclear Arms Race" _The Observer_ pg24; "Sold" 2004-02-07 _Economist_; Owen Bowcott, Ian Traynor, John Aglionby & Suzanne Goldenberg 2004-02-12 "Briton Key Suspect in Nuclear Ring" _Guardian_)  

 
 

2013-04-12

2013-04-12
Dominic Connor _Register_
"IT skills shortage" == shortage of Ferraris at riding-mower prices
"according to Blighty's Office for National Statistics, the average weekly pre-tax pay in 'computer programming, consultancy and related activities' in 2012 was £718.70, which is about the same as a decent Ferrari's cost of ownership.   Ferrari, like any IT professional, will charge what it can get.   This will be pushed up by demand and pushed down by competition until a rough balance is met.   Anything in a short supply should really command at least a 25% premium; compare the above figure to the national earnings average of £519 a week.   Yet, the most persistent PR spin on the 'skills shortage' is from the games sector, which is notorious for low pay and long hours, so much so that in the USA, executives have had serious legal issues with minimum wage laws, which helps explain why a pretty low percentage of the work is off-shored to India.   Employers naturally want to pay less for labour and since IT makes up at least 10% of all wages in the UK, bosses want to reduce that expenditure.   Lawyers average about the same as IT bods, but do we hear of a shortage of them?   No, we certainly do not.   Although I've had 25 years in the IT trenches I'm now a head-hunter, and I will state as a fact that for a price you can have pretty much any damned skill set you want...   If you want good people, you're going to have to pay...   When I was unleashed as a newbie computer science graduate onto the market in 1984, the money was very good.   I was getting twice what the lawyers in my year earned...   Pay isn't just driven by supply and demand but by a general feeling of what a job is worth.   In the 1980s we were such rare beasts, and what we did was so close to magic, that we were usually treated with some respect -- and not just in monetary terms.   This was a time when IT pros often got company cars and some benefits normally reserved for finance and sales executives.   By 1998, our numbers had grown to the point where there were at least 200K analyst programmers in the UK with a similar number engaged in operations and hardware...   Then the Millennium Bug caused the IT pay average to increase and the spread to widen.   Cobol and Fortran programmers had seen the writing on the wall, or rather the attractive little bitmap on the screen, and many had either retired or jumped [to other programming languages, tools, and methodologies]...   Measuring the productivity and quality of IT pros is never going to give entirely trustworthy results; having read too many reports on this subject and worked alongside people who vary from excellent to the Worst Programmer in the World, it's an established fact that when considering the quality of programmers in a sample of (say) 15, the spread of output varies by at least a factor of 10, often by 50, no matter what metric you use, be it lines of useful code per day or frequency of bugs.   Yet figures from the Office for National Statistics imply that, within that sample, pay will vary by about 15%...   the pay of IT pro has to be looked at in the context of risk; in this case the risk of not being an IT pro any more.   That risk is on the increase and that's not just from off-shoring, but from the diversity of the technologies we now use and the pickiness of employers.   Again taking the mid-1980s as my starting point, the top 5 languages (Cobol, Fortran, BASIC, RPG and PL/1) accounted for about 90% of programming jobs, with C coming up fast.   Today the top 5 distinct languages account for about 50% and the tails go a lot further out.   Note I say distinct languages.   Try for an Oracle SQL job only knowing MSFT SQL server and see how far you get.   Java and C# are so similar that you can cut and paste blocks between them, but you'd struggle to move from knocking out code for one to a job writing the other on a whim...   The government claims there are 1M IT pros in the UK alone.   But a huge percentage of office workers are MSFT Office 'developers', knocking up spread-sheets and badly formed data-bases...   That means, of course, that since we aren't so different from mundane workers; our pay is nearer to the average than it once was.   So in 30 years we've gone from 300% of average pay in 1984, to 110% more in 1998, to about 35% more in 2012.   Anyone want to extrapolate that curve for me?"

2013-04-12
Paul Homewood
English winters back to normal... meteorology office's Julia Slingo wails "global warming!"

2013-04-12
Caroline Craig _InfoWorld_/_IDG_
American tech workers lose out in H-1B give-away
We're already hemorrhaging tech jobs for US citizens...jgo
"a 2007 Urban Institute study showed the United States is producing far more people with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees than it needs.   And 'in a rare moment of candor', Computerworld reports, 'a Texas Instruments executive stated in House testimony in 2011 that our educational system is producing plenty of American engineers'.   Indeed, the IEEE reported this week that unemployment for electrical engineers -- people at the heart of many tech innovations -- rose sharply in the first quarter.   Basic laws of supply and demand also seem to debunk claims of a labor shortage.   Most shortages fuel higher prices, but as InfoWorld's Bill Snyder has pointed out, salaries in computer- and math-related fields for workers with a college degree rose only 4.5% between 2000 and 2011.   'If these skills are so valuable and in such short supply, salaries should at least keep pace with the tech companies' profits, which have exploded.', wrote Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute, in an opinion piece for the New York Times...   the biggest employers of foreign tech workers are off-shore-out-sourcing consulting firms [a.k.a. cross-border bodyshops].   That trend will only continue and lead to more off-shore out-sourcing if caps are raised, according to Ron Hira, a public policy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology who studies tech immigration issues.   As the New York Times piece noted: 'Workers under the H-1B program aren't like domestic workers -- because they have to be sponsored by an employer, they are more or less indentured, tied to their job and whatever wage the employer decides to give them.   Moreover, too many are paid at wages below the average for their occupation and location: Over half of all H-1B guest workers are certified for wages in the bottom quarter of the wage scale.'   An NPR report bears this out, citing the case of Rennie Sawade, a software designer from Michigan with 30 years of experience, who almost landed a plum job at MSFT -- only to lose out to someone from off-shoring firm Tata Consultancy.   The woman at his placement agency 'said her jaw just dropped when they found out how little MSFT was paying this person from Tata Consultancy to do this job', Sawade says."

2013-04-12
Ruth Mantell _Fox_/_MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 78.6 in late March to 72.3 in early April
Wallace Witkowski & Laura Madaro: Denver CO Post
Fox
CNBC/Reuters
Ruth Mantell: MarketWatch
St. Louis Fed

2013-04-12 (5773 Iyar 02)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
must Jewish people tolerate and facilitate their own destruction?
"On January 13, The NYTimes reported on a series of virulently anti-Jewish comments Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi made in speeches given in 2010.   Among other things, Morsi said, 'We must never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and our grand-children on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews.'   He said that Egyptian children 'must feed on hatred; hatred must continue.   The hatred must go on for G0D and as a form of worshiping him.'...   Two weeks after the NYTimes ran the story, the [Obummer regime] sent 4 F-16 fighter jets to Egypt as part of the implementation of a military aid package announced in 2012 December entailing the provision of 20 F-16s and 200 M1-A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "Although only 33 tragedies, 11 comedies, 1 satyr play remain of the out-pouring of creative talent, this representative sampling gives us enough of a glimpse to appreciate the birth of drama in the Western world." --- Mary Ellen Snodgrass 1988 _Cliffs Notes on Greek Classics_ pg85  

 
 

2013-04-13

1743-04-13: Thomas Jefferson's birth-day
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "I have always admired the cleverness of he aptly named RAND Corporation.   It was established within the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1946 as project RAND, which was funded by the US Army Air Forces to engage in the study of fugure weapons development.   When it became evident that there might be a conflict of interest if the project recommended new weapons for which Douglas would be the likely manufacturer, the non-profit corporation was spun off from the aircraft company.   After its incorporation in 1948, this 'seed-bed of systems analysis' focused on a wide range of issues related to national security.   But whereas the word RAND when spelled out sounds virtually indistinguishable from R and D, it does not through its spelling or sound carry the same symbolic force that the ampersand in R&D does." --- Henry Petroski 2010 _The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems_ pg98 (citing Thomas P. Hughes 2000 _Resuing Prometheus_ pp154-155; http://www.rand.org/about)  

 
 

2013-04-14

2013-04-14
David Grant _Christian Science Monitor_
What should be done about visa over-stayers? (with video)
"how [can we effectively] figure out when and if the 150M foreigners who come into the United States every year actually leave[?]...   'Without a real entry-exit tracking system, the rest of immigration law is irrelevant.', says Mark Krikorian, executive director for the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for lower immigration levels...   there's little exit monitoring at the nation's land borders and some monitoring at air and seaports.   And biometric screening is years away."

2013-04-14
Daniel Greenfield _Front Page Magazine_
Border Patrol union head calls on Rubio to leave senate amnesty gang
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "Just 1% of the population, Chinese Filipinos control as much as 60% of the private economy, including the country's 4 major air-lines and almost all of the country's banks, hotels, shopping malls, and major conglomerates.   My own family in Manila runs a plastics conglomerate.   Unlike taipans Lucio Tan, Henry Sy, or John Gokongwei, my relatives are only 'third-tier' Chinese tycoons.   Still, they own swaths of prime real estate and several vacation homes.   They also have safe deposit boxes full of gold bars, each one roughly the size of a Snickers bar..." --- Amy Chua 2003, 2004 _World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability_ pg3  

 
 

2013-04-15

2013-04-15
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
all of H-1B, in sound bites
 
We live in a sound bite era.   So, I've put together a set of sound bites on H-1B.   [Next, the manga comics version. :-) ]
 
Long-time readers will recognize about half of these quotes, but many will be new even to the longtimers.   Here are a couple of my favorites among the new ones:
 
1.   "...a Ph.D. in computer science is probably a financial loser in both the short and long terms, says [Cisco Systems Vice President for Research] Douglas Comer." -- AAAS Science Careers, 2008 April 11
 
2.   "[We in tech] control massive distribution channels, both as companies and individuals...   We have individuals with a lot of money.   If deployed properly this can have huge influence in the current campaign finance environment." -- Joe Green, leader of Mark Zuckerberg's new immigration lobbying group.
 
Quote 1 is priceless.   Imagine -- even Cisco, one of the most prominent Silicon Valley firms, is saying that it's a waste of time to pursue a PhD in Computer Science!   Keep this in mind next time you hear the industry lobbyists say that the industry hires H-1Bs because not enough Americans pursue doctorates.
 
So how did Comer happen to blurt this out?   He actually is an academic, who was on extended leave from Purdue at Cisco at that time.   So, he wasn't sophisticated enough to know that he was speaking out of school.
 
Quote 2 is...well, pretty disgusting.
 
I recall seeing Green on TV back when he was in high school, BTW, in a documentary on kids pushing to get into the Ivy League.   He hoped to get into Harvard, but his SAT Math score was low (in spite of being the son of a UCLA math professor, which is why I recall all this).   Well, he eventually got the score up, and became Mark Zuckerberg's room-mate at Harvard.
 
Norm
---30---

2013-04-15
Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
senate proposal may make it more difficult for cross-border bodyshops and off-shore out-sourcers to get H-1B visas
"Details remain murky, but sources close the negotiations are expecting that the bill will make it difficult for IT services firms [IT bodyshoppers] to use large numbers of H-1B visas to hire workers [i.e. to engage in cross-border bodyshopping].   Obstacles to H-1B visa use may include escalating fees that would rise with the percentage of a firm's U.S. work-force on a visa.   The bill could also include a formula that requires large H-1B users to pay higher wages for some workers.   They can do this by stipulating a higher prevailing wage tier for some workers.   Access to H-1B visas may also be linked to a willingness of IT services firms to shift workers to permanent residency or green cards...   The view from India is that the H-1B visa is as much as part of routine cross-border trade as the purchase of, for instance, a Boeing plane."

2013-04-15
_Cumberland PA Sentinel_/_AP_
PA government web-sites, recently/soon-to-be out-sourced, went dark
"a no-bid contract to out-source web services to Kansas-based NIC Inc., effective Dec. 1.   Corbett spokes-woman Kelli Roberts says that transition hasn't taken place yet."

2013-04-15
Thomas E. Brewton
leftist Obummer regime declared extortion-deferred savings to be "unAmerican"
Robert Lenzner: Forbes

2013-04-15
Larry Greenfield _PJ Media_
a brief history of extortion by governments in the USA

2013-04-15
David North _Center for Immigration Studies_
do we really need huge numbers of foreign workers?

2013-04-15
Michael Stumo _Coalition for a Prosperous America_
bill aimed at reducing evasion of import duties
"There is an entire industry built around duty evasion.   'Duty evasion' is any means used by manufacturers, exporters, and importers of goods subject to anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders to illegally or fraudulently evade the duties that have been imposed by the US government."

2013-04-15 (5773 Iyar 05)
Kristen Chick _Jewish World Review_
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack against main cathedral

2013-04-15 (5773 Iyar 05)
Marcy Darnovsky & Karuna Jaggar _Jewish World Review_
supremes to decide if you own your own DNA, or can others patent it
"A case before the U.S. Supreme Court today is challenging 2 patents...   The patents in question are on two human genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, commonly referred to as the 'breast cancer genes'.   We all have these genes in the cells of our bodies, but certain variants in some people significantly increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.   Learning whether you have these risk-elevating mutations can be important because it gives you the opportunity to consider increased surveillance (such as cancer screenings and mammography) and even surgery to remove healthy organs.   The patents give one biotechnology company, Myriad Genetics Inc., sweeping control of the two genes.   Myriad's monopoly harms women's health, impedes cancer research and raises important ethical questions about control over the human genome.   Myriad's patents cover both the normal versions of the genes and all mutations and rearrangements within them.   This monopoly has prevented other scientists and doctors from using the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in research, medicine, diagnosis and treatment.   With revenue from the patents approaching $500M/year, Myriad frequently restricts access to these genes.   It sends cease-and-desist notices to prevent other researchers from working with them...   It was not always this way, and it need not stay this way."

2013-04-15 (5773 Iyar 05)
Howard LaFranchi _Jewish World Review_
US bracing for more Russian blow-back after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
"18 Russian officials Friday...will face visa bans and a USA assets freeze as a result of alleged human rights violations...   The list was the first to result from passage last fall of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, named for a Russian whistleblower who died in prison in 2009 after publicly reporting massive tax fraud by Russian officials.   But on Capitol Hill, several lawmakers decried what they described as a surprisingly short list that failed to name any senior officials...   several prominent international human rights organizations and the European Court on Human Rights have made 'compelling cases' against many times that number of Russian officials involved in human rights abuses...   Of the 18 publicly named Russians, 16 were listed over their involvement in the Sergei Magnitsky case..."

2013-04-15 (5773 Iyar 05)
Kristin Ohlsom _Jewish World Review_
people who have rare diseases are doubly isolated
"There is no choice for a patient but to become an expert and advocate extraordinaire.   Meet the inspired who refuse to be victims...   Any serious illness or even temporary disability can make one feel isolated and manhandled by fate, but for people with rare diseases -- defined as ones afflicting 200K people or fewer in the U.S.A. -- there are often additional challenges.   For the most part, these patients go from doctor to doctor seeking a diagnosis.   When or if they get one, there's often no treatment and no physician knowledgeable about their rare disease.   The impact is like being rocketed off to a distant planet.   Usually they've never heard of their condition until they are diagnosed.   And usually they're young; many of these often-fatal diseases are genetic.   There are around 7K rare illnesses, and some 50 new ones are recorded every year, thanks to better identification of disease subsets, such as newly defined lymphomas or leukemias.   Most cancers, in fact, are rare disorders.   And even though the constituency for each illness is small, together they affect up to 8% of the population -- more than 25M Americans, the same number as those struggling with diabetes."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "with daily traffic of about 550 cargo containers only at the port of Hong Kong or 63M passengers a year at London's Heathrow Airport (1,250 flights per day), the compact nature of illicit drugs makes them the equivalent of the neede in the hay-stack.   A $1M retail pay-load of high-grade marijuana, say 1K pounds, fits handily in a false compartment of one of the 4.5M trucks crossing the US-Mexico border every year." --- Moises Naim 2005 _Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and CopyCats Are Hijacking the Global Economy_ pg77 (citing Kris Axtman 2001-05-08 "Rising Border Traffic, More Drugs" _Christian Science Monitor_ pg1; Stephen E. Flynn "The Global Drug Trade versus the Nation-State: Why the Thugs Are Winning" in Maryann Cusimano 2002 _Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for a Global Agenda_ pp44-66)  

 
 

2013-04-16

2013-04-16
Neil Catto
re-visiting temperature re-constructions used in climate studies

2013-04-16
_Laura Ingraham radio show_
heeeere's non-amnesty amnesty for illegal aliens
mp3 of caller Karen regarding immigration
"My son went to MIT, in Boston.   He had to register for [the selective slavery system, but illegal aliens amnestied by Obummer don't]."

2013-04-16
Neil Munro _Daily Caller_
many loop-holes hidden in proposed immigration bill
"The still-secret bill is 'a comprehensive special interest bonanza', Rosemary Jenks, director of government relations for NumbersUSA, an immigration reform group, told The Daily Caller. 'This is what happens when politicians bring in immigration lawyers to write immigration laws.', Jenks added... the bill exempts green cards awarded to company managers, scientists and employees' family members, effectively boosting the [already vastly excessive] annual cap to roughly 350K, Jenks explained. The bill creates a points system for allocating up to 250K green cards to temporary workers and to overseas relatives of recent immigrants... an uncapped number of workers and relatives can get green cards via a transitional system created for the initial amnesty of 11M illegal immigrants, Jenks said. This transitional system will also provide green cards to roughly 4.5M temporary workers in the [United States of America] and to the backlogged relatives of 'new citizens'."

2013-04-16
_Knoxville TN News Sentinel_/_AP_
out-door power equipment company MTD Consumer Group expanding to 225 employees in Martin, TN

2013-04-16
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
Gof8 Reprehensible Immigration Law Perversion's details could be disastrous
 
An out-line has been circulating of the Gang of 8's [reprehensible immigration law perversion] bill (pdf).
 
A San Jose Mercury News reporter asked a few people to comment (in 100 words or less), and the write-ups.
 
Regarding my "devil in details" concern, I'll be closely watching the exact language that emerges, and will analyze it here at that time.   There are a lot of ways in which it could turn out to be only cosmetic, and downright misleading.
 
FOR INSTANCE: I had originally read the out-line as meaning that the bill would NOT create a special "STEM visa", which you may recall that I have characterized as an end run around H-1B.   As I read the out-line again now, I see that it is vague on that issue.   If the bill does create a STEM visa category, and if the reformed H-1B wage requirement does not apply to such visas, then things would be even worse than now -- A LOT worse.   (Note too the "within 5 years" clause, exacerbating the age discrimination problem.)
 
Just in case I'm not clear above: If the bill creates a STEM visa and that visa does not have a realistic wage requirement, THINGS WOULD BE A EVEN WORSE THAN THEY ARE NOW.   We'd have a lot more visas, without any increased protection for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
 
Note that Vivek shares my concern about "hand-cuffing".   A fix for this would be REALLY easy to add to the bill.   The ONLY reason for failure to include an anti-handcuffing position is that the Gang of 8 KNOWS that the employers place high value on hand-cuffing their foreign workers.   The ethical implications of that are profound.
 
Norm
---30---

2013-04-16 (5773 Iyar 06)
Phyllis Schlafly _Liberty News_
comprehensive reform must include reining in guest-work programs

2013-04-16
Michael Fitzgerald _Information Week_/_UBM_
H-1B smells ripe, and long over-due for reform
"John Miano, who founded the Programmers Guild and now is a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote me in an e-mail that 'the economy is in the toilet.   Job creation sucks.   Yet the H-1B cap gets hit.'   Miano's not against talented immigrants coming to the U.S.A., but thinks they can cost talented Americans their jobs.   Although the tech industry is the most aggressive lobby in favor of the H-1B, Miano documented that in 2011 we hit the H-1B cap despite substantial net job losses in the computer science, engineering and scientific fields.   Besides evidence of unemployed American tech workers who might be losing out to this program, there's also evidence that the typical H-1B recipient isn't particularly talented.   Other numbers show wages as a share of U.S. gross domestic product are at the lowest they've been since the Great Depression, as is the percentage of Americans working, despite record corporate profits."
Nearly 130K H-1B visas were issued in FY2011, and over 135K in FY2012, according to the State Dept. annual reports...jgo

2013-04-16
Byron York _Town Hall_
new data on border crossings could affect debate over immigration law changes
"Last year the Border Patrol began experimenting with a new drone-based surveillance system that had been developed for finding Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Starting in the fall, officials used the radar-based system over a fairly small portion of the Arizona border. The results were striking. 'According to internal reports, Border Patrol agents used the airborne radar to help find and detain 1,874 people in the Sonora Desert between [2012] October 1 and [2013] January 17.', reported the Los Angeles Times last week. 'But the radar system spotted an additional 1,962 people in the same area who evaded arrest and disappeared into the United States.'   That means officers caught fewer than half of those who made the crossing in that part of Arizona [about in line with WAGs by Border Patrol veterans that they catch somewhere between 1 in 5 and 1 in 2]."

2013-04-16
Kevin Glass _Town Hall_
here comes yet another "path to citizenship"

2013-04-16
Mike Shedlock _Town Hall_
income extortion and fairness

2013-04-16
Daniel J. Mitchell _Town Hall_
GAO report focuses on make-believe "tax expenditures"

2013-04-16
David Stokes _Town Hall_
a terrible action from which we should learn

2013-04-16
John Hawkins _Town Hall_
10 worst bombings in USA history

2013-04-16
Allen West _PJ Media_
2nd Boston massacre (with video)

2013-04-16
Bridget Johnson _PJ Media_
Saudi king to pres. Obummer: Boston bombers belonged to "no religion at all"

2013-04-16
Konrad Lawson _Chronicle of Higher Education_
limitations of GitHub for writers

2013-04-16
_NY Sun_
speaking of money: a primer on currency, inflation and gold

2013-04-16
Bill Sizemore _Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot_
Chinese contractor at NASA Langley Research Center to be held until trial

2013-04-16
Alyssa Brown _Gallup_
American's confidence down in daily tracking polls

2013-04-16 (5773 Iyar 06)
Mona Charen _Jewish World Review_
progress is not inevitable

2013-04-16 (5773 Iyar 06)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
fact-free crusades
Town Hall
"Think about all the states, communities within states, as well as foreign countries, that have either tight gun control laws or loose or non-existent gun control laws.   With so many variations and so many sources of evidence available, surely there would be some compelling evidence somewhere if tighter gun control laws actually reduced the murder rate...   One of the dangerous inconsistencies of many, if not most, gun control crusaders is that those who are most zealous to get guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens are often not nearly as concerned about keeping violent criminals behind bars.   Leniency toward criminals has long been part of the pattern of gun control zealots on both sides of the Atlantic.   When the insatiable desire to crack down on law-abiding citizens with guns is combined with an attitude of leniency toward criminals, it can hardly be surprising when tighter gun control laws are accompanied by rising rates of crime, including murders."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "What separates the simply talented from the brilliant in each and every art, science, and skill-set is endless repetition of physical and mental exercises.   Only then does one go from being competent to being as nearly perfect and well-honed as he can be.   What R Salanter realized was that that also goes for the ability to grow in ones being.   In order to excel spiritually we have to polish and repeat our efforts again and again, too.   So he advised us to engage in this exercise: we're to repeat to ourselves over and over again certain aphorisms that touch us and lay out a truth clearly and succinctly until they become engraved in the tablet of one's heart." --- R' Yaakov Feldman Ohr Yisrael: R' Salanter's Innovations (3)  

 
 

2013-04-17

2013-04-17
Paul Greenberg _Town Hall_
my Bill Mauldin story: a tale of 2 veterans

2013-04-17
Katie Pavlich _Town Hall_
We need high-capacity magazines for target practice and to stop the bad guys

2013-04-17
Donald Lambro _Town Hall_
Boston terror attack proves we're still vulnerable

2013-04-17
Michelle Malkin _Town Hall_
Another empty slogan: "See something. Say something."
"the truth is that our politically correct guardians only want you to see, say or do something if it can't be construed by grievance-mongers as racist, sexist, Islamophobic, homophobic, nativist or any other '-ist' or '-ic'."

2013-04-17
Austin Bay _Town Hall_
2013 Boston terror's 19th-century roots

2013-04-17
Rich Galen _Town Hall_
the thin veneer of civilization

2013-04-17
John Ransom _Town Hall_
torturing English to avoid saying "Saudi"

2013-04-17
John Stossel _Town Hall_
a post-"post office" world

2013-04-17
John Ransom _Town Hall_
economic/financial fundamentals still don't matter as Fed inflates

2013-04-17
Ralph Benko _Town Hall_
scrip and whacked out Keynesians vs. hard coinage vs. gold standard

2013-04-17
Bob Barr _Town Hall_
state 2nd amendment violation measures are badly missing the mark
"Despite 2 decisions, in 2008 and 2010, by the U.S. Supreme Court unequivocally affirming that the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms against infringement by the government, state legislatures continue to do just that -- enact laws that significantly infringe this fundamental human right."

2013-04-17
Darko Butina
noise and volatility much greater than trends in climate data part 2
part 1

2013-04-17
Howard Nemerov _PJ Media_
senator Diane Feinstein attacks 1st amendment in order to attack 2nd amendment

2013-04-17
_PJMedia_
testimony to House Judiciary committee on mismanagement at DoJ Civil Rights section under Eric Holder

2013-04-17
Roy W. Spencer
temperature models vs. temperature reality in lower troposphere

2013-04-17
Chris de Benedetti _San Jose CA Mercury News_/_Fremont CA Argus_
exec spots one of his firm's battery cells used in Boston bomb
"A Tenergy executive said his heart sank Wednesday morning when he saw an on-line photo of a battery made by his company attached to an explosive device used in the Boston bombings.   Benjamin Mull said the 2-inch-long battery's role in the carnage Monday had cast a pall over the Fremont company and its 80 employees.   'We were appalled that our product was used in such a horrible and senseless way.', he said.   'Our hearts and thoughts are with the victims and their families, and we're hoping the perpetrator is caught quickly.'...   said the Sub-C 3000mAh [3Ah] nickel metal hydride [NiMH] battery, the type used in the bombings, is most often used by hobbyists in toys such as radio-controlled cars and trucks...   The 1.25-volt battery is manufactured in [Red China] and its packaging is assembled in Fremont.   The battery, which sells for a few dollars each...   Roger Serafin, an employee at Nor-Cal Hobbies in Union City, said the hobby store carries Tenergy batteries but not the type used in the bombings.   '(The Sub-C 3000mAh) batteries sometimes are used to ignite gas-powered, remote-controlled cars, and they're rechargeable.', Serafin said.   'If it's fully charged, that battery can last more than a week.   It can hold that charge until you need it.'"

2013-04-17
Andrew Klavan _PJ Media_
tragic, evil and stupid "journalism"

2013-04-17
_Forbes_
Federal Reserve playing Chicago gangster politics with banks
"And this is where we'll get into future trouble.   The Fed is forcing institutions to be, in effect, carbon copies of one another in their activities.   Thus, if there is another financial 'virus', all of these institutions will be infected and topple...   the Basel Accords.   For years regulators around the world have been concocting uniform risk assessments to judge bank loans.   The results of this exercise have been disastrous.   Banks had to hold no reserves against government debt yet hold hefty set-asides for business loans.   Greek government bonds were seen as infinitely safer than a loan to, say, [Ill-Begotten Monstrosities].   Mortgage-backed securities also got preferred regulatory treatment–and we all know where that led.   That the White House is engaging in Chicago-style retributions is no surprise.   But for the Federal Reserve to engage in this kind of Godfather-style activity is appalling."

2013-04-17
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
a bit of +, a whole lot of -
 
I've now had a chance to read through most of the H-1B and green card related sections of the bill's text.   I still haven't fully digested it, but here are some comments.
 
I've stated many times that if the issues of wage requirements and "hand-cuffing" of green card [grantees by their sponsors] were properly addressed, then the actual levels of the caps would be of less importance.
 
[But I believe that is totally incorrect, because of the vastly, hideously excessive numbers of student, exchange, guest-work and LPR visas already being given out.   If the numbers were reasonable, the pay to guest-workers would have insignificant effects, and employers would be faced with incentives such that the visas would ONLY be used to bring in the very best talent...jgo]
 
So, are those conditions met?
 
1.   Wage requirements:
 
The H-1B wage floor in the bill would be (at least) 80% of the overall mean wage for the occupation, region and level of education.   This is short of the Grassley/Brown proposal, which specifies the mean itself as the criterion, thus weaker.
 
[Whatever "wage" or compensation guidelines are put in place, they will be easy to work around, and hence ineffective...jgo]
 
OTOH, the inclusion of education level is new (with exceptions), but the wording doesn't make clear whether that applies to the worker or to the job.   In current law, wage requirements apply to the job, thus creating a major loop-hole; if the employer says that the job requires just a bachelor's degree, then he can hire an H-1B who has a master's degree for the price of a bachelor's-level worker.
 
[Education credentials are a poor substitute for actual skills, intelligence, knowledge, creativity, industy and honesty... but at least (as with "wage" guidelines) they are a weak, vague, ineffective nod in the right direction of reasonable limits on numbers and reasonable minimal standards...jgo]
 
In addition, there are several glaring omissions:
 
(a) The bill doesn't state whether the new wage requirements for H-1B would also apply to green cards, as is the case currently.
 
(b) The bill allows dependents (not just spouses) of H-1Bs to work, but sets no wage requirements.   (Thanks to an alert reader for spotting this.)
 
(c) The bill sets no wage requirements for OPT.   Since the STEM extension of OPT a couple of years ago was predicated only [on unfounded allegations of] a dearth of H-1B visas, it's time to roll that back [from 29 months to somewhere between 6 and 12 months] -- and especially time to impose wage requirements.
 
Finally, though the wage reforms in Grassley/Brown would have indirectly helped solve the age discrimination problem, this bill does nothing like that.
 
The reformed wage requirement is definitely better than nothing, but keep in mind that it will likely to be the first thing to be eliminated or emasculated once the industry lobbyists get their hands on Congress' throats.   Some of the lobbyists' public statements have already implied this.
 
2.   Hand-cuffing:
 
There is nothing in the bill whatsoever that directly deals with this.
 
Arguably the speeded-up green card process would ameliorate the hand-cuffing issue for some workers, it would definitely still be a big problem.   There still would be the delay associated with labor cert, and employers could still drag their feet before even starting the sponsorship process.
 
As I said yesterday, there is NO EXCUSE for not dealing with this issue.   Failure to do so can be due only to PANDERING TO THE INDUSTRY LOBBYISTS.   What could be clearer?
 
And, as expected, the bill blames the Indians in umpteen different ways.   Funny story on that:
 
Yesterday I was interviewed by Carolyn Lochhead of the San Francisco Chronicle, a libertarian writer who has covered H-1B off and on for a number of years.   When she asked my opinion of the bill (whose out-line I had just read a few minutes earlier), I mentioned that I was greatly disappointed that the bill engaged in bashing the Indian firms.   Ms. Lochhead replied, "I amazed to hear that, as I was sure you would like that aspect of the bill."   I said no, I've been consistenly OPPOSING such a thing in my writings for many years.
 
I think that Lochhead's shock at my statements shows just how powerful the industry lobbyists' PR is; they've got the press just taking it as a given that the Infosyses abuse H-1B while the Intels use it responsibly.
 
And not surprisingly, Lochhead didn't quote me in her article.   :-)
 
The bill, of course, reflects the other aspect of the industry lobbyists' PR, which is that the foreign students are the "good" H-1Bs.   The effectiveness of that image was seen in an interesting comment by John Kerry the other day.   He said that the violence in the U.S.A. is scaring away the foreign students!   I don't mean to diminish the issue of violence at all, but one can tell that Kerry takes it for granted that we "need" the foreign students, the "Jophnny can't program" kind of thing.
 
At any rate, the bill has some good in it, but even that part is full of loop-holes, and will likely be removed during the legislative process.   Meanwhile, the bill would set massive increases in various caps, some of them infinite.   IOW, a disaster for U.S. STEM workers, and as I've said, a disaster ultimately for the American economy.
 
Norm
---30---

2013-04-17
Joe Conger _KENS 5 San Antonio TX_
Pratt & Whitney to phase out San Antonio engine plant
"The letter informed 130 employees at aerospace manufacturer Pratt and Whitney's San Antonio facilities that their jobs are being phased out and the operation moved out of state...   At Port San Antonio, 3 large hangars provide the space for Pratt and Whitney's work on F-100 engines...   Last year, Pratt and Whitney signed a $65M maintenance contract with the U.S. Air Force and emphasized the San Antonio operation in its press releases.   But the letter announcing the San Antonio facility closure discusses cost reductions and global competition forcing its operations to consolidate at a facility in Columbus, GA."

2013-04-17
Craig Bannister _Cybercast News Service_
Lamar Smith says S744 is even worse than we expected

2013-04-17 (5773 Iyar 07)
Shira Rubin _Jewish World Review_
"Palestinians" are starting to realize down-sides of foreign aid boom

2013-04-17 (5773 Iyar 07)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
immigration sophistry
Town Hall
"Most laws are meant to stop people from doing something, and to penalize those who disregard those laws.   More generally, laws are meant to protect the society from the law breakers.   But our immigration laws are different.   Here the whole focus is on the 'plight' of those who have broken the laws, and on what can be done to lift the stigma and ease the pressures they feel, so that they can 'come out of the shadows' and 'normalize' their lives...   OTOH, if an ordinary American citizen breaks a law, no one cares if he has to live in fear for years -- 'in the shadows', as it were -- worrying that his illegal act will be discovered and punished.   No one bothers to come up with euphemisms to keep from calling what he did illegal.   No cities announce that they will provide 'sanctuary', so that American shoplifters, or even jay-walkers, will be protected from the law.   But, in some places, illegal immigrants are treated almost as if they were in a witness protection program.   What is even more remarkable about this special treatment is that you are not supposed to think about it as special treatment.   When a new immigration law is proposed that simply overlooks violations of the old law, that is not supposed to be called 'amnesty' -- even though the word 'amnesty' has the same root as 'amnesia'.   It is all about forgetting...   For example, we are told that there is no way that the government can find all the people who are in the country illegally and deport them.   Does anyone imagine that the government can find all the embezzlers, drunk drivers or bank robbers in the country?   And does anyone think that this is a reason why the government should stop trying to enforce laws against embezzlement, drunk driving or bank robbery?   Or let embezzlers, drunk drivers and bank robbers 'come out of the shadows' and 'normalize' their lives?   Even if the government does not lift a finger to find illegal immigrants, many will come to the attention of law enforcement officials because of their violations of other laws.   But, even then, there is no assurance that they will be deported -- and certainly not in 'sanctuary' cities.   Why are there immigration laws in the first place? For the benefit of the American people -- not for the benefit of people in other countries who want to come here.   But political and media elites treat the American people as if they are the problem -- a problem to be circumvented with sophistry and pious promises about border security that have not been kept in all these years since the last amnesty, decades ago.   Making an irreversible decision to add millions of people -- and their dissimilar cultures -- permanently to the American body politic is something that should take months of careful examination and discussion, both inside and outside of Congress.   But it is likely to get less time than you would take to decide whether to buy a house, or perhaps even a car.   What should American immigration policy be? It doesn't matter what any of us think that policy should be if the borders are not secure, because whoever wants to come across that border will come across anyway, in defiance of whatever the policy might be.   If legal benefits are conferred on illegal immigrants before the border is secured, we may as well give up any pretense that we have an immigration policy, because benefits conferred are never going to be taken back, no matter how porous the border remains."

2013-04-17 (5773 Iyar 07)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
price versus cost
Town Hall
"We might think of price as the money that's actually given in exchange for the transfer of ownership.   When you purchased the gallon of gas, you simply transferred your ownership of $3.   What the gas cost you is a different matter.   One way to determine the cost of a gallon of gas is to ask yourself what sacrifice you had to make in order to have $3 to buy it.   Say that your annual salary is $75K.   Your total federal income tax, state income tax, local taxes and [Socialist Insecurity] and Medicare taxes come to about 35% of your salary.   That means that in order to purchase the $3 gallon of gas required that you earned about $4.60 in order to have $3 after taxes.   That means a gallon of gas costs you $4.60 worth of sacrifice.   But that's not so costly as it is to a richer person -- for example, someone earning a yearly salary of $500K.   He has to earn more than $5 before taxes in order to have $3 after taxes to purchase gas.   If taxes only concealed hidden costs of what we buy, we'd be lucky, but taxes are destructive in another hidden way.   Suppose I want to hire you to repair my computer.   Having the work done is worth $200 to me, and performing the work is worth $200 to you.   The transaction occurs because we have a meeting of the minds.   Suppose Congress imposes a 30% income tax on you.   That means that if you repaired my computer, you would receive not $200, what it was worth to you to do the job, but instead $140 after taxes.   You might say the heck with repairing my computer; spending time with your family is worth more than $140.   You might then offer that you'd do the job if I paid you $283.   That way, your after-tax earnings would be $200 -- what doing the job is worth to you.   There's a problem.   The repair job was worth $200 to me, not $283.   So it's my turn to say the heck with it.   This simple example demonstrates that one effect of taxes is that of destroying transactions and hence jobs.   But politicians have what economists call a zero-elasticity vision of the world.   IOW, they're fool enough to believe that people will behave after taxes are levied just as they behaved before and that the only effect of a tax is to bring in more revenue.   Of course, a more flattering assessment is that politicians are not fools and know that their actions destroy transactions and hence jobs but they don't give a damn and only care about revenue...   Taxes are necessary to fund the constitutionally mandated functions of the federal government.   If Congress spent according to its authority under Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution, taxes wouldn't be any more than 5% of the gross domestic product, as it was between 1787 and 1920, as opposed to today's 20%."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "The most contentious use of sub-modules is for scaling down the size of a repository.   Although a practical solution to Git's desire to have relatively small [repositories] (1GB to 4GB total) compared to several-hundred-GB SVN repositories, strategic developers should consider solutions that link projects on a binary or Application Programming Interface (API) level rather than at the source level that sub-modules provide." --- Jon Loeliger, Matthew McCullough & Avery Pennarun 2012 _Version Control with Git_ pg319  

 
 

2013-04-18

2013-04-18 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT) (14:30 Jerusalem)
Tom Stengle & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
DoL OPA press releases
historical data
DoL regulations
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 354,973 in the week ending April 13, a decrease of 1,269 from the previous week.   There were 370,482 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5% during the week ending April 6, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's revised rate of 2.6 percent.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,175,060, a decrease of 117,109 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,292,169.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.7% and the volume was 3,448,040.   The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending March 30 was 5,152,655, a decrease of 124,867 from the previous week.   There were 6,765,119 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2012.   Extended Benefits were available only in Alaska during the week ending March 30...   States reported 1,782,555 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending March 30, a decrease of 54,999 from the prior week.   There were 2,775,134 persons claiming EUC in the comparable week in 2012.   EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.   [Note that the population used for calculating the "insured unemployment rate" (the divisor) changes roughly quarterly:
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;
to 125,572,661 beginning 2011-04-02;
to 125,807,389 beginning 2011-07-02;
to 126,188,733 beginning 2011-10-01;
to 126,579,970 beginning 2012-01-01;
to 127,048,587 beginning 2012-04-07;
to 127,495,952 beginning 2012-07-14;
to 128,066,082 beginning 2012-10-06;
to 128,613,913 beginning 2013-01-05;
to 129,204,324 beginning 2013-04-06.]
EUC (Excel)
EB
graphs
more graphs

2013-04-18
Jonathan M. Seidl _Blaze_
NY Post published images of suspicous people at Boston marathon
Global Post

2013-04-18
Johnathan Hettinger _Daily Illini_
U of IL considering ways to cater more to foreign students

2013-04-18
_Fox_
ICE agent union: gang of 8's immigration law perversion bill "does nothing" to secure borders, improve interior enforcement
"a major loop-hole -- giving the government 'discretion' to choose when to enforce immigration laws.   The union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents has long complained that the Obama administration has made their job harder by preventing agents from detaining and deporting select illegal immigrants...   'In fact, it appears that the security components it does contain focus mostly on the exterior, and rely on the discretion of DHS, even though DHS is in federal court right now for undermining the constitutional rule of law.', Crane wrote, referring to a law-suit brought by ICE agents...   But Crane said the Senate legislation should be held until several major issues are addressed -- including...directives that release dangerous criminal aliens back into the community and the Obama administration's dangerous abuse of prosecutorial discretion...   legalizing the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country without establishing a strict system of interior enforcement will allow the problem to fester all over again...   The bill is scheduled to come up for its first hearing on Friday."

2013-04-18
_Knoxville TN News Sentinel_
VW to eliminate 500 temp jobs
WRCB TV Chattanooga TN
"The temporary workers are supplied by Aerotek, a [bodyshopper]...   Initial increased labor demand of the new plant, which started producing a new product with new suppliers and a new work-force, has been offset by increased efficiency...   Aerotek supplies much of Volkswagen's hourly employees, who usually start at a lower pay rate.   Once workers transition were to transition to working directly for Volkswagen, their pay rate would be slightly increased...   The [bodyshopper] accounts for about one-fifth of Volkswagen's labor force at the Chattanooga facility.   A third shift was added in early 2012 to add 500-800 workers to increase Volkswagen's production of the Chattanooga-built VW Passat."

2013-04-18
William Happer
numeracy -- how long would it take to get a 6℃ increase in temperature?

2013-04-18
Walter Hudson _PJ Media_
response to Boston bombing must respect rights
"security precautions are not guarantees, but exercises in risk mitigation...   the truth is that possibilities are foreseen and their probabilities weighed against the impact of precautions.   Individuals, who remain as responsible for their own safety as ever, make these same calculations all the time.   Should I run in the marathon, or not?   Should I watch the marathon, or not?   Should I fly to New York today?   Should I take the train to work?   Should I carry a hand-gun?   Should I change the batteries in my smoke detectors?   The possibility that something can go wrong never amounts to zero, and the precautions we take to mitigate risk are always considered by weighing costs and probabilities...   Rather than submit to an irrational fear of inevitable tragedy, we should recommit ourselves to upholding the rights of every individual, enabling each to act upon his or her own judgment in pursuit of both their security and happiness.   What does that look like?   Instead of a federal Transportation Security Administration, airlines could be tasked with ensuring their own security.   They have the incentive.   No airline wants to be known as the one whose passengers get blown up, nor do they wish to lose expensive aircraft or facilities.   However, they also stand subject to other market pressures which would temper their security efforts with reason.   In a free market, customers will only tolerate so much inconvenience, yet understand and appreciate reasonable precautions.   A market compromise would prove far superior to the political and bureaucratic priorities imposed through government intervention...   By maintaining the individual right to keep and bear arms, government enables its citizens to act upon their own judgment to effect their own protection.   The best response time for law enforcement is measured in minutes, while the sequence of events during a murderous rampage is measured in seconds.   Obviously, an armed teacher or staff member can react quicker during an incident at a school than law enforcement, potentially saving lives.   Of course, relying upon free individuals to take responsibility for their own security requires accepting the truth that bad things will happen.   Gun control efforts and other statist prescriptions against violence seem to be informed by a utopian goal of eliminating tragedy from life.   As citizens, if we wish to remain free to act upon our own judgment, we must never task our government with preventing tragedy.   Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness all assume risk...   [We should not] passively allow ourselves to be attacked by bad actors.   Individuals ought to retain the right to self-preservation, and government ought to retaliate swiftly and decisively against truly criminal acts.   However, we can never protect our rights by restricting them.   Turning government into the bad actor merely assures rights violations."

2013-04-18
Mary Mellor _KSL UT_
180 employees dumped by L-3 Communications
"L3 Communication Systems-West announced it is laying off 4.2% of its work-force, or about 180 employees, including operations, administrative, engineering, technical and professional staff. Camille Guth, vice president of human resources for the Salt Lake City-based defense contractor, said the lay-offs were a response recent budget cuts to the Department of Defense... 'I would think it would be difficult to find jobs in the same sector because the entire sector is facing the same problems.', Flint said. 'These are highly trained, higher paid jobs, and those tend to be the ones that go away.'"

2013-04-18
Bill Snyder _InfoWorld_/_IDG_
Sili Valley execs are lying about state of USA tech education
"There is no shortage of STEM graduates, and as I wrote ln February, Silicon Valley is pretending there is a labor shortage as it relentlessly lobbies to let in thousands of additional foreign IT workers under the H-1B visa program.   Although STEM sounds like a precise term, it turns out that different organizations tracking such info use different definitions for it.   But the bottom line is clear: We're producing more and more scientists, mathematicians, and engineers every year.   And we're innovating at a break-neck pace.   The United States leads the world in STEM grads, producing 348,484 in 2008, according to a report by Congress' Joint Economic committee.   The number of grads in engineering and science has grown enormously, increasing from just under 400K in 2000, to 494K in 2008, according to the National Science Foundation [NSF].   With the exception of Japan, the United States also holds a huge lead in the number of patents granted -- 224,505 in 2011, compared to 172K in [Red China], the country supposedly eating our lunch -- according to the World Intellectual Property Organization...   Ross Eisenbrey, the vice president of the Economic Policy Institute.   '1 out of 3 people who have a STEM degree in the U.S.A. are not working in a STEM field.', he told me.   It's hard to know why that's the case, but 'I suspect that if wages were higher, they'd be headed in that direction.'   Salaries in computer- and math-related fields for workers with a college degree rose only 4.5% between 2000 and 2011, says Eisenbrey.   'If these skills are so valuable and in such short supply, salaries should at least keep pace with the tech companies' profits, which have exploded.'...   IT salaries inched up by less than 2% in 2012, pushing compensation back up to 2008 January levels, according to a study by Janco Associates, a research company."

2013-04-18 (5773 Iyar 08)
Victor Davis Hanson _Jewish World Review_
post-modern prudes

2013-04-18 (5773 Iyar 08)
judge Andrew P. Napolitano _Jewish World Review_
taxation is extortion, Socialist Insecurity is an inter-generational Ponzi scheme
"There are only 3 ways to acquire wealth in a free society.   The inheritance model occurs when someone gives you wealth.   The economic model occurs when you trade a skill, a talent, an asset, knowledge, sweat, energy or creativity to a willing buyer.   And the mafia model occurs when a guy with a gun says: 'Give me your money or else.'"
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "At the same time, countries like [Red China] and India were becoming increasingly significant players in the worlds of education and research and development.   Universities outside the [United States of America] were training a growing number of engineers and scientists, but the [United States of America] continued to maintain a large lead in R&D.   A recent report by the RAND Corporation summarized the state of American science and technology in the early 21st century: 'The USA accounts for 40% of global spending on scientific R&D and 38% of all patented inventions among industrialised nations...   Three-quarters of the world's leading universities are in the USA and 70% of the world's Nobel prize winners work there.'   (In 2008, US industry spent about $220G on R&D, which was about 70% of the nation's total investment in science and technology.)" --- Henry Petroski 2010 _The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems_ pp119-120 (citing Chris Bryant 2008-06-12 "USA Retains Top Spot in World Technology League" _Financial Times_)  

 
 

2013-04-19

1775-04-19: Patriot's Day anniversary of skirmishes at Lexington and Concord

2013-04-19
Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
US bodyshoppers say H-1B reductions/restrictions may help them
"IT support services firm [domestic bodyshopper] Caleris has this message on its home-page, 'Out-source to Iowa.   Not India.', against a picture of a corn field and farm houses...   'If the costs go up to do it in India or off-shore, that is a positive for us.', Ohringer said.   One bill provision in particular prohibits users of a large number of visas from having more than 50% of their U.S. work force on a temporary visa, the so-called 50-50 rule [which won't affect more than a small percentage of H-1B abusers].   Wells Fargo, in a recent research note released before the senate bill, said the 50-50 rule could hurt operating margins and reduce the earnings per share of off-shore providers by 1% to 5% next year.   Brian Keane, the CEO of IT services company Ameritas Technologies, said the senate bill will be good for domestic IT [bodyshoppers]...   Although the tech industry is pleased with the increase in H-1B visas in the bill, from a 65K base to upward of 180K [which doesn't mean much in light of the fact that they've already been issuing about 130K per year], the industry isn't happy with the bill's enforcement provisions and requirement that employers recruit U.S. workers prior to hiring visa holders.   Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California at Davis and a leading H-1B critic, summarized the Senate bill, in his recent news-letter, as an overall 'disaster' for U.S. STEM workers (science, technology, engineering and math).   He pointed to the massive H-1B hike and loop-holes in the bill...   'We continue to see movement of jobs off-shore, and the intent is to move a lot more.', said Michel Janssen, chief research officer of The Hackett Group, a management consulting firm...   Many companies are building 'captive centers' over-seas, Janssen said.   These are company-owned facilities, and the Senate's bill won't affect them.   The bill 'could potentially increase the movement of jobs off-shore', he said.   Hackett has studied off-shore practices at companies with $1G or more revenue in Europe and North America, and said IT jobs will continue to shrink at these companies as work is shifted to lower cost regions.   Jimit Arora, vice president at Everest Group, a consulting and research firm, said off-shore companies are preparing for an environment that will be more expensive, and with visas, more challenging to get.   The higher expense will come because off-shore companies will need to have more local workers.   Most off-shore firms typically work by having about 30% of their workers at a customer site, and the balance completing work overseas, Arora said.   Phil Fersht, the CEO of HFS Research, said off-shore providers 'are getting better at pushing more of the work over to India and actually need less staff on-shore -- in many cases'.   Fersht said some of the Indian [combined cross-border bodyshoppers and off-shorers] are getting smart about employing a good number of local staff, in any case."

2013-04-19
_Investor's Business Daily_
terrorist attacks during the Obummer regime

2013-04-19 (5773 Iyar 09)
Michelle Malkin _Jewish World Review_
death doctor Gosnell's silent conspirators
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "All members of the cast -- including the hypocrites, or actors, and the choreuti, or chorus members -- were male.   Acting ranked in importance with athletics as a means of competition.   Actors, therefore, had to be sturdy, well-trained performers, because the costumes and masks were cumbersome and slowed the actors' movements.   They also had to be competent singers as well because many of their lines were chanted to music.   The role of the protagonist was assigned to a tenor; the deuteragonist, or second in importance, to a baritone; and the triagonist, or least important, to a bass.   The mode of acting seems to have been conventional and stylized rather than naturalistic, but it could not have been too artificial, since many scenes call for lively, realistic action." --- Mary Ellen Snodgrass 1988 _Cliffs Notes on Greek Classics_ pg88  

 
 

2013-04-20

2013-04-20
Robert Moore _Cenantua_
"missing" southern unionists
"not all persons who applied are indexed by county..."

2013-04-20
Bob Tisdale
comparing data vs. models with trend maps
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "Grab yourself a caffeinated beverage prior to reading that manual page." --- Jon Loeliger, Matthew McCullough & Avery Pennarun 2012 _Version Control with Git_ pg377  

 
 

2013-04-21

2013-04-21
Victor Davis Hanson _PJ Media_
the paradoxes of the Boston bombings

2013-04-21
_KGO San Francisco CA_/_AP_
executives oppose privacy
Steven Harmon: San Jose CA Mercury News
"...fighting a proposed Internet privacy law that would require companies to show consumers the personal data they've collected on them and how it's being used...also who is using it...   15 [company executives] and trade groups [i.e. lobbyists] -- including TechAmerica, which represents [executives of] Google, FB, MSFT and other technology companies..."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "Having just solved several of the deepest mysteries of the universe, Einstein applied for a job as a university lecturer and was rejected, and then as a high school teacher and was rejected there as well.   So he went back to his job as an examiner third class, but of course he kept thinking.   He hadn't even come close to finishing yet." --- Bill Bryson 2003 _A Short History of Nearly Everything_ pg123  

 
 

2013-04-22

2013-04-22
Mirela Iverac _WNYC_
Do the proposed changes to H-1B visas go far enough?

2013-04-22
_senate Judiciary committee_
testimony of Ron Hira (pdf)

2013-04-22
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
a conversation with Vivek Wadhwa
 
What you'll see below is an e-mail exchange between Vivek Wadhwa and me, shown here with his permission.   I also told him that I will later post here his response to this posting, if he wishes.
 
I must apologize for the length of this posting, but if H-1B is important to you -- as a tech worker, as a policy-maker, researcher, journalist or whatever -- I believe it will be well worth your while to read through it.   Skim if you must; I'll provide some all-caps statements to help the skimmers.
 
This will be about the age discrimination issue, H-1B etc.   It's also about motivations of the players, as I discussed a few weeks ago, in addition to being about our see/hear/speak no evil Congress.
 
PEOPLE IN CONGRESS HEAR WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR, AND/OR WHAT THEY EXPECT TO HEAR.   Everyone involved with the H-1B issue on the Hill knows that Vivek is a strong proponent of expanding tech worker programs -- but probably almost none of them knows that Vivek has stated numerous times that we do NOT have a STEM labor shortage.   Yet Vivek is billed as a pro-industry speaker, so they just naturally assume that he supports the industry party line of STEM labor shortage.
 
Similarly, as you'll see below in Vivek's response, he notes his agreement with me that Congress is wrong to target the Indian bodyshops in legislation.   And yet, since he supports the industry views on other things, Congress takes it for granted that he, too [a former cross-border bodyshopper], blames the Indians.   (After all, with the exceptions of him and me, no one else is objecting to this scapegoating, including among critics of H-1B.)   Note, by the way, that he states in his response that the age issue pervades the entire industry, including the big main-stream firms.
 
As I've said, I regard Vivek as a friend.   I sometimes find some of his comments irritating, and sometimes he has objected to my statements.   If you haven't read it yet, there is a hair-raising ride. But all that comes with the territory, and I'm fond of pointing out that Vivek and I agree on most aspects of the H-1B and green card issues.   Hence I will sometimes be rather blunt below.   Nothing personal, Vivek.   :-)
 
The other day Vivek sent me e-mail, titled, "This one's for you   :-)" (complete with emoticon), notifying me of his [Wall Street Journal] web log post
 
I agree with most (though not all) of it, but my problem here is that Vivek refuses to relate the age issue to H-1B.   I said as much ("1500 words but not a single one on H-1B") in my reply to him.   He denied the connection, so I ASKED HIM TO GIVE HIS VIEWS ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS, with his responses to be posted here in my e-news-letter:
 
1.   What is the typical career longevity of a programmer?   (Of course, I mean it as a generic term, so that it includes those with Software Engineer titles.)
 
2.   You once said that older programmers typically won't be hired, even if they have the currently-fashionable skill sets.   Your web log posting basically says that too, with the exception of "rock star" programmers.   Am I reading it correctly?
 
3.   You implicitly are saying that the age problem pervades the industry, including the large mainstream firms, right?
 
4.   You suggest that programmers plan on eventually transitioning to non-programming jobs in the tech industry, say management.   Are there sufficient numbers of such jobs, if most programmers sought them?
 
5.   Is there a shortage of programmers?
 
(I will freely interchange thie terms "programmer" and "engineer", because the industry likes to do so.   The fact is that most of the tech industry H-1Bs are doing programming, under whatever job title.)
 
As Vivek's response is rather lengthy, I'm including it as an "appendix" at the end of this posting.   Here are my comments:
 
I was particularly interested in Vivek's answer to my Question 5.   He has in the past stated many times that we don't have a tech labor shortage.   Though with a bit of hedging here and there, VIVEK REAFFIRMS HIS PAST STATEMENTS THAT WE DON'T HAVE A [STEM TALENT] SHORTAGE.
 
Vivek also reaffirms his past statements that THE SHUNNING BY THE INDUSTRY OF THE OLDER ENGINEERS IS NOT FUNDAMENTALLY A QUESTION OF SKILLS.   Note my key word "fundamentally, by which I mean that even if an older programmer has the exact skill set required for a job, he/she will still probably not even get a phone interview.
 
I contend that there are far older more people with up-to-date skills than Vivek realizes.   Vivek mentions tablet programming, for instance, and just a few weeks ago I posted information about an older programmer looking for work, who had just written a clever Android game.   I trust that Vivek down-loaded it and has been playing the game on his tablet.
 
Moreover, note that Vivek concedes in his web log that when an employer hires a new graduate, that worker "has no skills".   This is absolutely correct.   Most schools don't teach Android, for instance.   Something like that is typically picked up on one's own, as the older programmer did whom I mentioned above.   This directly contradicts one of the industry lobbyists' favoriate talking points -- immediately accepted by gullible journalists and congressional staffers -- that "only the new graduates have the latest skill sets".
 
(Unfortunately, Vivek also contradicts himself, saying in his response, "...most computer programmers who received their technical training even a decade ago aren't up to date".)
 
As Vivek pointed out, the older programmer is just too expensive.   And as he knows, the vast majority of H-1Bs are young.   IOW:
 
1.   No shortage.
 
2.   Older people not hired, too expensive.
 
3.   H-1Bs hired, most of them young.
 
Isn't the conclusion inescapable, Vivek?   H-1B AND THE TECH AGE DISCRIMINATION ISSUE ARE INTIMATELY RELATED.
 
But there is more, something even more salient: In Vivek's response, he repeatedly brings up money.   Older programmers are too expensive.   Moving engineers to higher-demand regions is too expensive.   Start-ups can't afford to pay market rates.
 
IOW, H-1B IS ABOUT SAVING MONEY, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.   I've pointed this out before.   It's not just what I've called Type I salary savings, but also Type II (age-related) and various other ways of saving money.
 
Did you catch that last type above, concerning startups?   Vivek says
 
###########################
 
...we need to differentiate between the companies that I have been fighting for -- tech startups in Silicon Valley, and the big employers.   Start-ups truly are starved for talent and can't afford to hire experienced, high-paid workers.   Start-ups drive "innovation" and US economic growth.   They should get preference for H1B visas and not have to compete with the big employers...
 
###########################

 
And in his blog, Vivek said,
 
###########################
 
It can be difficult for some companies to justify paying the age premium.   For tech startups in particular, it always boils down to cost: Most can't even afford to pay $60K salaries, so they look for motivated, young software developers who will accept minimum wage in return for equity ownership and the opportunity to build their careers.
 
We can blame the employer, but in a free economy you can't really force any company to hire workers who have the wrong skills or to pay higher salaries.   Larger companies develop products for global markets and have global work-forces.   They will hire where they can get the best skill for the best price.
 
###########################

 
IOW, VIVEK IS SAYING WE NEED H-1BS IN ORDER TO PROVIDE START-UPS WITH CUT-RATE ENGINEERS.   I don't share Vivek's enthusiasm for startups -- only a tiny percentage do anything commericially viable or enhancing to technology -- but in any case, to advocate shunting aside U.S. citizens and permanent residents in order to give a subsidy to the almighty start-ups is astounding.   All that talk of a "free economy" hides the fact that H-1B amounts to a government subsidy (as the late Milton Friedman pointed out).
 
And, as I've emphasized before (Vivek has brought it up once or twice too), the start-up CEOs get an even better subsidy from the H-1B/green card process -- the ability to hand-cuff their workers, preventing them from leaving to another employer in the midst of an urgent project.   To many employers, this is much more important even than saving in wages -- and it makes hiring similarly-qualifed American workers unattractive.
 
Vivek raises another point in his blog:
 
###########################
 
Finally, I don't know of any university, including the ones I teach at, that tells its engineering students what to expect in the long term or how to manage their technical careers.   Perhaps it is time to let students know what lies ahead and prepare them for their difficult careers.
 
###########################

 
He then says in his response to me,
 
###########################
 
Everyone knows programming is an "up or out" profession.   But this is rarely discussed -- except by Venture Capitalists defending their portfolios of young entrepreneurs -- because this could be called "age discrimination".
 
###########################

 
Excellent point, Vivek, but clearly it is NOT true that "everyone knows this".   As you yourself state in your web log (see above), the STUDENTS don't know this.   And you righly castigate the universities for not telling them.
 
Indeed, the universities are even more culpable than you realized, because they imply that you CAN do engineering throughout your career.   The University of Washington CS Dept. whose long-time (until recently) chair Ed Lazowska has been the most enthusiastic prominent academic supporter of H-1B, paints the usual "life-long learning" picture:
 
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 
When you graduate with a CSE B.S. in Computer Science or Computer Engineering, you will be able to engage in successful careers...   The department will prepare you well to adapt to the new technologies, tools and methodologies...
 
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 
As Vivek says, it is not in employers' financial interests to allow engineers to "adapt to the new technologies, tools and methodologies..." throughout their careers.   I don't mean training -- any good engineer can learn on his/her own -- but the employers won't hire them.
 
I think not many of you know my background in this respect.   I've been programming since age 17, including my first paid programming work at age 18.   I worked in Silicon Valley for a while, and since then have among other things been writing open source software used by people all over the world.   I would guess that Vivek hasn't programmed for years, but I program more often than I drive a car (the latter being 2-3 days per week).
 
I've always been self taught.   Contrary to Vivek's web log statement that the new grads "will [more] rapidly learn the latest coding methods and techniques", my long experience enables me to learn new programming languages etc. much more quickly than I did in my early career.
 
And way back when I worked in Silicon Valley, a few years before H-1B was enacted, it was normal for people to program throughout their careers.   The up-or-out pattern that Vivek says "everyone knows" today didn't exist then.   And I submit that H-1B made the difference.
 
And as to Vivek's implied question as to WHY the universities keep this from those students, where's the mystery?   Obviously the answer is that IT IS IN UNIVERSITY ENGINEERING DEPARTMENTS' BEST INTERESTS NOT TO BRING THIS UP, FOR FEAR OF SCARING THE STUDENTS AWAY.
 
And, with all due respect to Vivek, it was not in his best interests to bring up the age issue in his testimony.   He does passionately believe we should bring in more foreign workers, and if he wants to get that message across on Capitol Hill, he can't undermine it by saying, "Yes, this will displace older American workers, but it's worth it." &bsp; I do give him credit for bringing it up in prominent places elsewhere, but I wish he would tell it directly to the people who most need to hear it.
 
Norm
 
******************* Vivek's response
 
1. The problem in programming is that hardware and software technologies are changing at an ever increasing pace.   As these change, the needs of employers change.   Some programmers do stay current and they excell, but the majority of can't keep pace will the rapid changes in technology.   Today the "action" is on tablet-computing devices and most computer programmers who received their technical training even a decade ago aren't up to date.   That is the root of the problem -- and why we are having these debates.   [Programming iOS and Cocoa Touch or iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches is easier than OS X and Cocoa...jgo]
 
2.   It is no doubt harder for an older programmer with old computer languages and platforms on his resume to get interviews.   Once they are interviewed, the "rock stars" rarely have a difficulty getting a high paying job.   [But many savvy US citizen STEM workers with current skills who don't expect especially high pay can't get an interview...jgo]   The rest -- who have average skills and expect to make the same salaries that they made when their skills had peak market value have a hard time getting employed.
 
3.   The age problem pervades the technology industry -- and many other industries including journalism (as journalists have told me).   Everyone knows programming is an "up or out" profession.   But this is rarely discussed -- except by Venture Capitalists defending their portfolios of young entrepreneurs -- because this could be called "age discrimination".
 
4.   No there are not enough management jobs so programmers have to diversify into other fields -- such as Quality Assurance, Sales, Marketing, Finance, etc.   I am not saying this is right, I am describing the harsh reality of the engineering profession.   During my tech days, I hired many programmers over 50 and these were my most steady, loyal, and trusted employees.
 
5.   There is no general shortage of programmers or engineers -- there are regional shortages of programmers with the right skills.   In Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston, for example, tech companies find it difficult to hire programmers with the right hardware and software skills [to do unethical, low-respect temporary projects].   They offer higher than average salaries [but not high enough to make up for the horrendous over-regulation and high costs of living of these locations].
 
One of the biggest problems with the US programming work-force is its lack of mobility.   People who have made close to six-figure salaries and who live outside these tech centers are reluctant to relocate their families without guarantees of high paying jobs.   Others can't afford to live in expensive places like Silicon Valley and New York while they get to know the local community, update their skills according to the needs of companies there, and start what amounts to a new career.
 
On another matter -- where we agree.   Vilifying the Indian companies is the wrong thing to do because we are fixing the wrong problem.   First, we need to differentiate between the companies that I have been fighting for -- tech start-ups in Silicon Valley, and the big employers.   Start-ups truly are starved for talent and can't afford to hire experienced, high-paid workers.   Start-ups drive "innovation" and US economic growth.   They should get preference for H1B visas and not have to compete with the big employers.   They need people when they are ready to grow and can't wait for quotas to open up like the big players can.   They also can't afford the bureaucracy and delays.
 
Slapping higher fees on Indian companies won't achieve anything because the money that is raised from these really doesn't reach the people it is meant to help.   A better solution would be to require that all large companies train an American worker for every 1 or 2 foreign workers that they hire.   See this experiment that Infosys did and at Wayne county Community College.   It showed that automotive workers and war veterans could be trained to become programmers and gain high paying jobs.   Yes, this is the same Infosys that we vilify [for being a cross-border bodyshopper and off-shorer, just as domestic bodyshoppers have earned infamy, and "main-stream" firms like IBM with large cross-border bodyshopping operations, and firms which focus on unethical activities like FB, Google, Oracle, SAP, Friendster, LinkedIn...].
 
Bottom line: we need to understand the real problem and rather than declaring foreigners the enemy and we need better focused assistance for workers who are impacted by technology change.
 
Vivek
["Innovation" is bandied about here but remains undefined...jgo]
---30---

2013-04-22
Bob Jackson _Youngstown OH Vindicator_
STEM gems: YSU STEM students showcase clothes heaters to concrete canoes
"The projects included an Android phone app, a concrete canoe, a mini Baja car, an examination of what causes suspension bridges to collapse and alternative fuel for gasoline-powered engines...   One of the projects, designed by a group of senior mechanical engineering students, was conversion of a gasoline-powered engine to run on natural gas...   Garland said she became interested in the project because she intends to work in the oil and gas industry after her graduation from YSU...   One such project was a packing and transportation rack, which will be used by Humtown Products in Columbiana, for loading and shipping sand cores, which are produced by Humtown and sold to plants and foundries for creating mold castings.   Kevin Siembeda, one of the students who worked on that project, said it's expected to generate considerable time and cost savings for the company once it's put into place."

2013-04-22
Bob Tisdale
more comparison of data with models

2013-04-22
Michael Ledeen _PJ Media_
USA's current rotten "leadership"
"Good leaders are worth fighting for and bad leaders have to be challenged."

2013-04-22
Sheryl Longin _PJ Media_
David Sirota and the definition of "hate speech"

2013-04-22
Richard Piatt _KSL UT_
senator Mike Lee critical of size of immigration bill

2013-04-22
Anthony Watts
12 states take challenge of EPA "climate regulations" to supremes

2013-04-22 (5773 Iyar 12)
Ken Dilanian _Jewish World Review_
counter-terrorism's future is unclear
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "The Golden Venture also shone a light on the workings of a particular circuit -- the Fujian circuit, which delivers migrants from this coastal and traditionally sea-faring Chinese province to the [United States of America], Taiwan, Japan, and Australia. The Fujian province accounted for more than one-quarter of Chinese emigration in 1995.   In the early 1990s, 25K Fujianese were arriving each year in the [United States of America].   In 2004, 10K Fujians arrived in NY alone.   The Fujianese population in NY has driven Chinatown's expansion into adjacent areas and flooded restaurants and garment factories with cheap, illegal labor.   The price of passage has rocketed from less than $2K to as much as $60K.   Typically, part is paid up front and th rest assumed in debt, by the migrant an relatives in both Fujian and the [United States of America]." --- Moises Naim 2005 _Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and CopyCats Are Hijacking the Global Economy_ pp86-87 (citing Greg Torode 1993-06-08 "Hong Kong Probe into Death Ship: Survivors Held as US Vows to Stem Flood" _South China Morning Post_ pg1; Sarah Jackson-Han 1996-06-07 "Chinese Aliens Sparked Long-Term Immigration CrackDown" _Agence France-Presse_; David Kyle & Rey Koslowski 2001 _Global Human Smuggling_; Michael Maiello & Susan Kitchens 2004-06-07 "Preying on Human Cargo" _Forbes_; Doris Meissner, US commissioner of INS 2002 February published 2003 March-April _Foreign Policy_ pg31)  

 
 

2013-04-23

2013-04-23
Anthony Watts/_Northern Arizona University_/_Nature GeoScience_
In Europe, for example, the average temperature between 21CE and 80CE was warmer than during 1971-2000CE

2013-04-23
Paul Homewood
Germany to open 6 more coal-fired electricity plants in 2013
"RWE's new lignite [soft, low-quality coal] power station opened in Neurath in 2012...   Following on the opening of 2 new coal power stations in 2012, 6 more are due to open this year, with a combined capacity of 5800MW [5.8GW], enough to provide 7% of Germany's electricity needs.   Including the plants coming on stream this year, there are 12 coal-fired stations due to open by 2020.   Along with the 2 opened last year in Neurath and Boxberg, they will be capable of supplying 19% of the country's power.   In addition, 27 gas-fired stations are due on line, which should contribute a further 17% of Germany's total electricity generation.   (Based on 2011 statistics, total generation was 575 TWh)."
anthracite
bituminous
lignite

2013-04-23
Anthony Watts
nearly 10K cold and snow records set in USA over last 6 weeks

2013-04-23
Don Lee & Frank Shyong _Los Angeles CA Times_
EB-5 "investment" visa scams
"Jianwei Li and two other wealthy Chinese businessmen thought they had a sure thing when they wired $1M each to a California firm that had promised to build a fine Chinese restaurant in the Bay Area city of San Bruno...and the 3 investors were assured it would create enough jobs to obtain the real prize: a U.S. green card...   The [green card] can become permanent if the project creates 10 jobs within 2 years [and, no, the 10 employees don't have to be US citizens]...   Along with that rapid growth have come delays, weak oversight and increasing amounts of fraud...   The North American Securities Administrators Assn., an advocacy group, now ranks EB-5-related scams as one of the top new threats to investors...   About 80% of the 7,641 EB-5 visas issued in the last fiscal year went to Chinese investors and their immediate families, according to USCIS, which oversees the program...   In Southern California, EB-5 investors were behind the Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live and contributed $96M toward projects in San Bernardino, [which may have helped create] 4K jobs, city officials said...   A number of projects have been shut down for failing to meet the government's [weak] standards for job creation"

2013-04-23
Kris Anne Hall
Is this congressional over-sight?!

2013-04-23
Todd Starnes _Town Hall_
EdHelper.com propaganda promotes anti-American view of WW2

2013-04-23
Todd Starnes _Town Hall_
US Army officers order references to religious verses to be ground off of rifle scopes
"Soldiers at Fort Wainwright in Alaska told Fox News they received a directive to turn in their scopes so the Bible references could be removed...   'The biblical verse [citation] (JN8:12) must be removed utilizing a dremel type tool and then painted black.', read instructions on how to remedy the matter...   A company spokesman told ABC News in 2010 that the inscriptions had always been on the sights and there was nothing wrong or illegal with including them.   The company told ABC they believed the issue had been raised by a group that is 'not Christian'...   'It blows my mind.', the solider said.   'It doesn't help the Army do its mission to take off a biblical reference.'...   'We have classes on equal opportunity -- things that are clearly irrelevant to our mission -- which is to kill the enemy.'"

2013-04-23
Carol Platt Liebau _Town Hall_
putting political correctness above American safety

2013-04-23
Crystal Wright _Town Hall_
illegal aliens are not slaves
Victor Davis Hanson: National Review
"illegal immigrants are NOT slaves but criminals who broke laws to be here."

2013-04-23
David P. Goldman _PJ Media_
Does classical music make you smarter... or just cultivate contacts and impress admissions committees?
"36M Chinese kids now study classical piano, not counting string and woodwind players.   Chinese parents pay for music lessons not because they expect their offspring to earn a living at the keyboard, but because they believe it will make them smarter at their studies...   The same faculty of the mind we evoke playfully in music, we put to work analytically in higher mathematics.   By higher mathematics, I mean calculus and beyond.   Only a tenth of American high school students study calculus, and a considerably smaller fraction really learn the subject...   the notion that the terms of a convergent infinite series sum up to a finite number requires a different kind of thinking than elementary mathematics.   The same kind of thinking applies to playing classical music."

2013-04-23
Jeffrey Lord _American Spectator_
Jihad blows up the leftist utopia
George Neumayr: The price of pres. Obummer's Islamophilia

2013-04-23
Thomas E. Brewton
the end-point of leftist economic policies
"In furtherance of this agenda, the Federal Reserve has flooded the world's financial markets with fictitious, fiat dollars in order to keep interest rates on Federal debt far below real interest rate levels.   The rest of the world is now fighting back."

2013-04-23
Debra Donston-Miller _Information Week_/_UBM_
modern employment black-listing

2013-04-23
W.D. Reasoner _Center for Immigration Studies_
What happened in Boston part 1: on the nature of terror, and other questions

2013-04-23
Beryl Lieff Benderly _AAAS Science_
STEM labor market expert Ron Hira analyzed S744

2013-04-23
"Javeth" _Free Republic_
Action plan to defeat the amnesty, H1B-loving RINOS and the immigration deform bill (S744)

2013-04-23
Todd Starnes _Fox_
Chicago teacher suspended for showing students tools
"In 2011 Bartlett was teaching a mandated course on tools.   He showed students several tools that he used in his classroom including wrenches, screw-drivers, pliers, a box cutter, and a small pocket-knife.   He explained how the tools were used and kept the items secured in a tool box...   the 17-year veteran teacher received a notice that he was under investigation for possessing, carrying, storing and using a weapon -- and for negligently supervising children.   He was then suspended four days without pay.   John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, filed a federal lawsuit on Bartlett's behalf claiming his civil rights were violated.   'This school district's gross over-reaction to a simple teaching demonstration on basic tools such as wrenches and pliers under-scores exactly what is wrong with our nation's schools.', Whitehead said.   'Education truly suffers when school administrators exhibit such poor judgment and common sense.'   A spokesman for the City of Chicago School District 299 did not return calls seeking comment...   The law-suit claims the teacher had no idea that he could be subjected to disciplinary action for possessing common household tools in a class-room discussion that was mandated by the district."

2013-04-23 (5773 Iyar 13)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
genes and racism
Town Hall

2013-04-23 (5773 Iyar 13)
Tia Ghose _Live Science_
did ancient Europeans disappear 4,500 years ago (c. 2,500BCE)?
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "Far better is it for mortals to have a poor honest man either as married kin or friend than a wealthy knave; but as for you, you are a thing of naught." --- Peleus denigrating Menelaus in Euripides "Andromache" (quoted in Mary Ellen Snodgrass 1988 _Cliffs Notes on Greek Classics_ pg161)  

 
 

2013-04-24

2013-04-24
Daniel J. Mitchell _Town Hall_
constitutional limitation is good policy and good politics

2013-04-24
Kris Anne Hall
Immigration enforcement IS reform

2013-04-24
Susan Stamper Brown _Town Hall_
Is assimilation still possible? part 1

2013-04-24
Katie Pavlich _Town Hall_
senator Ted Cruz says border security provisions & timing in S744 are not satisfactory
pres. Obummer does not want reform

2013-04-24
Terry Jeffrey _Town Hall_
The truth: Federal government is willfully refusing to enforce the immigration laws not only at the border but also in the work-place
"I have a challenge for members of Congress now vowing that the federal government will enforce the immigration laws in the future if we just let them take the illegal aliens in the United States today and put them on a 'pathway to citizenship'.   It is this: Investigate the employer who -- according to the Office of the Inspector General of the [Socialist Insecurity Abomination (SIA)] -- filed 37,375 inaccurate W-2s in tax year 2005.   In fact, investigate all employers who have similarly filed massive numbers of bad W-2s.   Forget the employers who filed 100, 200 or even 500 bad W-2s per year.   Give them a pass -- for now.   Focus only on those that filed thousands.   Make them sit publicly in congressional hearings and explain how and why they filed so many bad documents with the IRS.   Make them as [infamous] as they deserve to be...   Congress can play one of two roles here: It can expose the executive's intentional non-enforcement of the law or be a conspirator in that non-enforcement...   He discovered that 10.1M no-match W-2s were filed that year, and 871,000 employers filed at least one.   But an elite group -- 1,650 employers -- filed 500 or more.   'These employers had reported no-matches that ranged from 501 to 37,375', said the IG, 'and about 44% of the employers had reported...   1K or more no-matches to SSA.'   So, who was the employer that filed 37,375? In the IG's report, this employer is anonymous.   But it is not anomalous.   On 2005 March 7, the Government Accountability Office released an audit report on the no-match W-2s filed from 1985 to 2000.   'We found that employers with a high number of reports in the ESF had a consistent pattern of misidentifying their workers on their annual earnings reports to [SIA].', said GAO.   'For example, one employer averaged about 13,300 reports placed in the ESF per year over the period we analyzed, ranging from a low of 5,971 to a high of 33,448.'   On 2004 Oct. 26, the [SIA] IG published a report on the top 100 employers who filed the most no-match W-2s from 1997 to 2001.   The IG discovered unmistakable patterns.   '43 of the top 100 employers were in the service industry, 32 were in the restaurant industry, and 20 employers were in the agriculture industry.', said the IG.   '4 of the remaining employers were in the hotel/retail industry, and 1 was a state agency.   Yes, a 'state agency' was one of the Top 100 filers of no-match W-2s with [SIA].   Which state? Again, it is anonymous.   But the IG did say employers with bad W-2s concentrate in certain states.   'We found that 54 of the 100 employers had registered addresses in 3 states -- California, Texas and Illinois.', said the IG.   An Illinois company filed the most no-match W-2s -- 131,991 -- over the 5 years, but a Florida company had the highest percentage.   'In the case of the employer with the worst accuracy, [SIA] suspended 89% of the TY2001 wage items submitted by an agricultural employer located in Florida.', said the inspector general.   'This represented 6,709 of the 7,497 wage items submitted by this employer.'...   During President Bush's second term, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a regulation to require employers who received letters from SSA indicating they had no-match W-2s to double-check their records and clarify their accuracy with their workers if they did not want those no-match W-2s to be considered evidence of knowingly hiring unauthorized workers.   The AFL-CIO and others sued over the proposal, a judge issued a preliminary injunction against it, and the Obama administration dropped it.   This week, I asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement whether any immigration enforcement had ever been taken against the still-anonymous employer who filed 37,375 no-match W-2s in 2005.   'The Worksite Enforcement Unit would have no way of knowing which company filed the W-2's, if a No-Match letter was generated or if the unnamed company responded properly to a No-Match.', said ICE spokesman Brandon Montgomery.   'ICE HIS (Homeland Security Investigations) receives no official communication from either IRS or the [SIA] in regards to Employer Correction Request Letters (No Match Letters).'"

2013-04-24
Anthony Watts
time lapse: 3 years in 3 minutes from Solar Dynamics Observatory

2013-04-24
Katie Pavlich _Town Hall_
arms and the economy

2013-04-24
Anthony Watts
sun-light on snow cleans atmosphere, depletes ozone

2013-04-24
Kevin G. Hall _Seattle WA Times_/_McClatchy_
economists acknowledge that long-term joblessness is a national emergency as congress-critters boycott Joint Economic Committee hearing

2013-04-24
J. Christian Adams _PJ Media_
7 reasons not to swallow Marco Rubio's immigration snake-oil

2013-04-24
_Town Hall_/_AP_
congress-critters ask who knew what about Boston bombing suspects, and when

2013-04-24
Bob Barr _Town Hall_
Boston bombing need not expand government powers
Jacob Sullum

2013-04-24
Jeff Poor _Daily Caller_
Mark Levin criticizes Paul Ryan for failure to connect terrorism, national security needs, and immigration laws

2013-04-24
Steve Rosenbush _Wall Street Journal_
"innovation" comes from the extremely small and the extremely large firms

2013-04-24 (5773 Iyar 14)
Steven Emerson _Jewish World Review_
Boston bomber exposes secret of Islamic force initiators
"Now he's in trouble.   It is one thing for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to be seen on security camera videos placing one of the bombs that killed 3 people at last week's Boston Marathon.   But now he's really crossed a line.   Tsarnaev is telling investigators he and his brother were motivated by religion to plot their carnage, media reports citing anonymous federal sources say.   Radical Islam.   It's a label banned by the Obama administration...   Dzhokhar told investigators from his hospital bed that he and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev were driven by religious fervor and took their instructions from al-Qaida's Inspire magazine, NBC News reports."

2013-04-24
Deirdre Shesgreen & Carl Weiser _Cincinnati OH Enquirer_
Rob Portman & Sherrod Brown holding back their opinions on immigration perversion/reform
"Portman said his main focus in examining the issue would be stepped-up enforcement, with better tracking of those who have overstayed their visas and those who enter the U.S.A. illegally."

2013-04-24 (5773 Iyar 14)
Michelle Malkin _Jewish World Review_
America's insane asylum for jihadists, hustlers, and frauds
Town Hall
"The Tsarnaev brothers reportedly were granted asylum by 'derivative' status through their parents.   After entering on short-term tourist visas, the mother and father (an ethnic Chechen Muslim) won asylum and acquired U.S. citizenship.   Next, younger son Dzhokhar obtained U.S. citizenship.   Older son Tamerlan, whose naturalization application was pending, traveled freely between the U.S.A. and the jihad recruitment zone of Dagestan, Russia, last year before the bombers' gunfight in Watertown, MA, last week left the Muslim terrorist dead.   Though they had convinced the U.S. [government] that they faced deadly persecution, the Tsarnaevs' parents both returned to their native land and were there when their sons launched last week's terror rampage.   Authorities will not reveal any details of the sob stories the Tsarnaevs originally spun to win asylum benefits for the entire family.   The whole thing stinks.   And it's an old, familiar stench.   Immigration lawyers have been working the system on behalf of asylum con artists for decades.   The racketeers coach applicants with phony stories and documents from 'chop shops' and game their way through 'refugee roulette'.   Asylum and refugee claimants are being rubber-stamped at all-time-high rates.   Government data analyzed by the nonpartisan TRAC website show that 'the odds of an asylum claim being denied in Immigration Court reached an historic low in FY2012, with only 44.5% being turned down.   Ten years ago, almost 2 out of 3 (62.6%) individuals seeking asylum lost their cases in similar actions.   20 years ago, fewer than 1 out of 4 (24%) asylum applicants won their cases, while 3 out of 4 (76%) lost.' [OTOH, 70-80 years ago, they rejected many legitimate asylum requests...jgo]...   Ramzi Yousef landed at New York City's JFK airport from Pakistan and flashed an Iraqi passport without a visa to inspectors.   He was briefly detained for illegal entry and fingerprinted, but was allowed to remain in the country after invoking the magic words 'political asylum'.   Yousef was released for lack of detention space and headed to Jersey City to plot the deadly 1993 World Trade Center bombing.   Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer, a Palestinian bomb-builder, entered the U.S. illegally through Canada in 1996-97.   He claimed political asylum based on phony persecution by Israelis, was released on a reduced $5K bond posted by a man who was himself an illegal alien and then skipped his asylum hearing.   In 1997 June, a federal immigration judge ordered Mezer to leave on a 'voluntary departure order'.   Mezer ignored him.   He joined the New York City bombing plot before being arrested in 1997 July...   Mir Aimal Kansi, convicted in 1997 of capital murder and nine other charges stemming from his 1993 January shooting spree outside the CIA head-quarters in McLean, VA, also exploited our insane asylum laxity.   Despite his history as a known Pakistani militant who had participated in anti-American protests abroad, Kansi received a business visa in 1991.   After arrival, he claimed political asylum based on his ethnic minority status in Pakistan.   While his asylum application was pending, he obtained a driver's license and an AK-47, murdered 2 CIA agents and wounded 3 others.   Somali national Nuradin Abdi, the al-Qaida shopping mall bomb plotter convicted in 2007, first entered the U.S.A. in 1995 using a false passport.   He entered again illegally from Canada in 1997 and secured asylum on false grounds.   Abdi then was able to fraudulently obtain a refugee travel document, which he used to fly to Ethiopia and, yes, Chechnya for jihad training.   Among the convicted Fort Dix (NJ) jihad plotters were 3 ethnic Albanian illegal alien brothers, Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka, who snuck into the country through Mexico with their parents.   In 1984, the father applied for asylum, but the feds ignored them for 2 decades.   In the meantime, as America showed the Dukas' refugee community unmatched compassion and generosity, the Muslim trio returned the favor by planning to massacre U.S. soldiers."

2013-04-24 (5773 Iyar 14)
John Stossel _Jewish World Review_
the education blob's revenge
Town Hall

2013-04-24 (5773 Iyar 14)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
academic cess-pools
Town Hall
"What we see on college campuses represents a dereliction of duty by boards of trustees, which bear the ultimate responsibility.   Wealthy donors who care about the fraud of higher education should recognize that there's nothing like the sound of pocket-books snapping shut to open the closed minds of college administrators."

2013-04-24 (5773 Iyar 14)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
immigration gambles part 1
Town Hall
"Britain's late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said it all when she wrote that the world has 'never ceased to be dangerous', but the West has 'ceased to be vigilant'.   Nothing better illustrates her point than the fact that the West has imported vast numbers of people who hate our guts and would love to slit our throats...   if we are not to base our laws on facts about realities, what are we to base them on? Fashionable theories and pious rhetoric?...   It is already known that a significant percentage of the immigrants from some countries go on welfare, while practically none from some other countries do.   Some children from some countries are eager students in school and, even when they come here knowing little or no English, they go on to master the language better than many native-born Americans.   But other children from other countries drag down educational standards and create many other problems in school, as well as forming gangs that ruin whole neighborhoods with their vandalism and violence, and cost many lives...   Above all, we need to look at immigration laws in terms of how they affect the American people and the American culture that gives us a prosperity that has long been among the highest in the world.   Americans, after all, are not a separate race but people from many racial and ethnic backgrounds.   Yet most Americans have a higher standard of living than other people of the same racial or ethnic background in their respective ancestral home countries.   That is even more true for black Americans than for white Americans.   Clearly, whatever we have in this country that makes life here better than in the countries from which most Americans originated is something worth preserving.   A hundred years ago, preserving the American way of life was much easier than today, because most of the people who came here then did so to become Americans, learn our language and adopt our way of life...   We are importing many foreigners who stay foreign, if not hostile.   Blithely turning them into citizens by fiat, rather than because they have committed to the American way of life, is an irreversible decision that can easily turn out to be a dangerous gamble with the future of the whole society.   What happened in Boston shows just one of those dangers."
immigration gambles part 2
Capitalism magazine
Investor's Business Daily
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "Nobody actually knows how long an atom can survive, but according to Martin Rees it is probably about 1035 years -- a number so big that even I am happy to express it in [exponential] notation.   Above all, atoms are tiny -- very tiny indeed.   Half a million of them lined up shoulder to shoulder could hide behind a human hair." --- Bill Bryson 2003 _A Short History of Nearly Everything_ pg134  

 
 

2013-04-25

2013-04-25 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT) (14:30 Jerusalem)
Tom Stengle & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
DoL home page
DoL OPA press releases
historical data
DoL regulations
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 323,529 in the week ending April 20, a decrease of 34,690 from the previous week.   There were 370,632 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4% during the week ending April 13, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,096,372, a decrease of 104,847 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,201,219.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.7% and the volume was 3,425,138.   The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending April 6 was 5,071,050, a decrease of 81,605 from the previous week.   There were 6,683,265 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2012.   Extended Benefits were available only in Alaska during the week ending April 6...   States reported 1,790,316 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending April 6, an increase of 7,761 from the prior week.   There were 2,729,204 persons claiming EUC in the comparable week in 2012.   EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.   [Note that the population used for calculating the "insured unemployment rate" (the divisor) changes roughly quarterly:
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;
to 125,572,661 beginning 2011-04-02;
to 125,807,389 beginning 2011-07-02;
to 126,188,733 beginning 2011-10-01;
to 126,579,970 beginning 2012-01-01;
to 127,048,587 beginning 2012-04-07;
to 127,495,952 beginning 2012-07-14;
to 128,066,082 beginning 2012-10-06;
to 128,613,913 beginning 2013-01-05;
to 129,204,324 beginning 2013-04-06.]
EUC (Excel)
EB
graphs
more graphs

2013-04-25
Ed Hoskins
cental England temperatures since 1660, er, 1760

2013-04-25
Paul Day _Global Post_/_Reuters_
cousin Juan Carlos facing 27.2% unemployment rate
CNN
Fox
Fox/AP
UPI

2013-04-25
Anthony Watts
Why hasn't EPA called for heavily polluting trees to be regulated?
"Researchers pinpoint how trees play role in smog production...   It has long been known that trees produce and emit isoprene, an abundant molecule in the air known to protect leaves from oxygen damage and temperature fluctuations.   However, in 2004, researchers, contrary to popular assumptions, revealed that isoprene was likely involved in the production of particulate matter, tiny particles that can get lodged in lungs, lead to lung cancer and asthma, and damage other tissues, not to mention the environment...   The study found that isoprene, once it is chemically altered via exposure to the sun, reacts with man-made nitrogen oxides to create particulate matter.   Nitrogen oxides are pollutants created by cars, trucks, aircrafts, coal plants and other large scale sources."
This makes no sense.   The mountains were already "smokey" back in the 1740s and 1750s, but James Rumsey didn't have his successful test runs with his steam-boats until the late 1770s, and uncle Nicolaus hadn't improved the internal combustion engine until a century later.   Isoprene is useful for making cleaners/degreasers for circuit boards, for making beta carotene, and steroids...jgo

2013-04-25
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
WP to Congress--maybe no STEM shortage
 
EPI has a new study out, by Hal Salzman and B. Lindsay Lowell, the authors of the land-mark 2007 Urban Institute report that showed we're producing far more STEM graduates than we need.   There is also a third author (actually, second), Daniel Kuehn, a talented doctoral student in economics.
 
Yet another excellent piece by the Washington DC Post's Jia Lynn Yang.
 
I have not yet read the study, just skimmed through it, and as always I am concerned about the definition of "IT".   But I know all 3 authors to be insightful, careful thinkers, and I look forward to reading it.
 
One thing I should mention about this new EPI study is that it does not seem to take into account the quality issue.   It is not the case that all STEM graduates should get STEM jobs.   In the software development case, for instance, I've stated many times that hiring a weak person is worse than not hiring anyone; they just mess things up.   But we do not have a shortage of high quality people either, and as I showed in my own EPI paper, the average quality of the H-1Bs (main-stream, not workers in the bodyshops) in computer science is weaker than that of the Americans.
 
It's interesting, and frustrating, that Congress ignores what I regard as overwhelming evidence that increases in H-1B and green cards are unwarranted, and that those programs actually should be reduced in scope rather than expanded.   Well, here is an article in their home-town newspaper that is basically saying so.   How will they deal with it?
 
Some of them will find comfort in the Post's description of EPI as "left leaning", and dismiss the study as rank protectionism.   Others will say that we can't have too many STEM people (ignoring a 2012 Post article showing how a glut of research scientists is ruining things for everyone, and discouraging our own best and brightest from pursuing doctoral work in science).  
 
And as I have reported before, there is a strong sentiment of a "let's steal the other countries' engineers", a silly, bound-to-fail notion on various counts, such as the Saxenian research that showed that many Asian immigrant engineers in Silicon Valley are quite active in helping tech firms in their home countries.   I suspect that president Obama finds this last argument ("take their engineers") compelling, based on various things I've seen him say.
 
And then, of course, there are the people on the Hill who share the sentiment of former representative Tom Davis: "This is not a popular bill with the people, but the CEOs want it, and they're the ones who give us the money."
 
Though I state above that I consider the evidence against expanding foreign tech worker programs overwhelming, I should in fairness mention the research of my UC Davis colleague, Giovanni Peri, which is being cited by some of the industry lobbyists.   I've only skimmed through it too, but already have a number of criticisms (note that it is just a working paper, not having gone through peer review yet), chief among them the fact that it does not really take into account the displacement of Americans by foreign students at the advanced degree level.
 
But more fundamentally, I've always objected to this particular genre of H-1B research, popular among those economists who are strong supporters of tech immigration (Peri, Zavodny), in which one takes such INDIRECT looks at the issues.   In Peri's case here, he doesn't investigate questions such as whether there is a tech labor shortage, or whether the foreign tech workers are under-paid.   Instead, he asks whether the presence of a lot of such workers is positively correlated with improved conditions for everyone.   I'm not an economist, but I am a statistician, and this kind of analysis is really very shaky.
 
I wonder if anyone in the DC-based press will be enterprising enough to get comment from the Gang of 8 on this new study.
 
Norm
Odette Yousef: WBEZ: Yet another study finds ample US grads to fill STEM jobs
Jana Kasperkevic: Inc.

2013-04-25
Hal Salzman, Daniel Kuehn & B. Lindsay Lowell _EPI_
Low-skill H-1B guest-workers in the US STEM job market
"The flow of U.S. students (citizens and permanent residents) into STEM fields has been strong over the past decade, and the number of U.S. graduates with STEM majors appears to be responsive to changes in employment levels and wages.   For every 2 students that U.S. colleges graduate with STEM degrees, only 1 is hired into a STEM job.   In computer and information science and in engineering, U.S. colleges graduate 50% more students than are hired into those fields each year; of the computer science graduates not entering the IT work-force, 32% say it is because IT jobs are unavailable, and 53% say they found better job opportunities outside of IT occupations.   These responses suggest that the supply of graduates is substantially larger than the demand for them in industry...   Over the past decade IT employment has gradually increased, but it only recovered to its 2000–2001 peak level by the end of the decade.   Wages have remained flat, with real wages hovering around their late 1990s levels...   The flow of guest-workers has increased over the past decade and continues to rise...   The annual inflows of guest-workers amount to one-third to one-half the number of all new IT job holders...   Only about a third of the IT work-force has an IT-related college degree.   36% of IT workers do not hold a college degree at all.   Only 24% of IT workers have a 4-year computer science or math degree.   The data also strongly suggest that there is a robust supply of domestic workers available for the IT industry: The number of domestic STEM graduates has grown strongly, and many of these graduates could qualify for IT jobs.   The annual number of computer science graduates doubled between 1998 and 2004, and is currently over 50% higher than its 1998 level...   Only 4% of high school graduates go on to earn a STEM degree in college, and the share that actually [gets] a STEM job one year after graduation is even lower, just 2.5%...   IT workers, who make up 59% of the entire STEM work-force, are predominantly drawn from fields outside of computer science and mathematics, if they have a college degree at all.   Among the IT work-force, 36% do not have a 4-year college degree; of those who do, only 38% have a computer science or math degree, and more than a third (36%) do not have a science or technology degree of any kind.   Overall, less than a quarter (24%) of the IT work-force has at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or math.   Of the total IT work-force, two-thirds to three-quarters do not have a technology degree of any type (only 11% have [only] an associate degree in any field).   Although computer science graduates are only one segment of the overall IT work-force, at 24%, they are the largest segment by degree (as shown in Figure F, they are 46% of college graduates entering the IT work-force, while nearly a third of graduates entering IT do not have a STEM degree)."

2013-04-25
Jeremy C. Owens _San Jose CA Mercury News_
Electronic Arts begins 10% lay-offs

2013-04-25
Quin Hillyer _American Spectator_
Obummer to FBI: coddle Islamics

2013-04-25
Thomas E. Brewton
read ObummerDoesn'tCare legislation and regulations... and weep
"Now, 3 years later, members of Congress and their staffs have gotten around to reading the [ObummerDoesn'tCare] legislation.   As the substantial increases in insurance premiums become known, they are protesting mightily the requirement that they, like ordinary tax-paying citizens, be subject to [ObummerDoesn'tCare]."

2013-04-25
Victor Davis Hanson _
the D-word: Deportation
"Deportation has become a near-taboo word.   Yet the recent Boston bombings inevitably rekindle old questions about the way the U.S. admits, or at times deports, foreign nationals.   Despite the Obama administration's politically driven and cyclical claims of deporting either a lot more or a lot fewer non-citizens, no one knows how many are really being sent home -- for a variety of reasons.   There are not any accurate statistics on how many people are living in the United States illegally.   And how does one define deportation?   If someone from Latin American is detained by authorities an hour after illegally crossing the border, does he count as 'apprehended' or 'deported'?   'Deportation' is now politically incorrect, sort of like the T-word -- 'terrorism' -- that the administration also seeks to avoid.   The current government emphasis is on increasing legal immigration and granting amnesties, but by no means is Washington as interested in clarifying deportation.   Why was the Tsarnaev family granted asylum into the United States -- and why were some of them not later deported?...   Yes, the environment of Islamic Russia was and can be deadly.   But if the Tsarnaevs were supposedly in danger in their native country, why did the father, Anzor, after a few years choose to return to Dagestan, Russia, where he now apparently lives in relative safety?   Why did one of the alleged Boston bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, return to his native land for six months last year -- given that escape from such an unsafe place was the very reason that the United States granted his family asylum in the first place?   That is not an irrelevant question.   Recently, some supposedly persecuted Somalis were generously granted asylum to immigrate to Minnesota communities, only to later fly back to Somalia to wage jihad."

2013-04-25
John Carney _CBC_
There is no shortage of STEM talent

2013-04-25
Sean Sullivan _Washington DC Post_
Leftist super-PAC targets Michele Bachmann

2013-04-25
Matt Bruenig _American Prospect_
STEM shortage myth, USA needs more jobs for scientists, engineers, computer wranglers

2013-04-25
W.D. Reasoner _Center for Immigration Studies_
What happened in Boston part 2: on visa applicant screening, naturalization, and de-naturalization
"Don't you wonder how it is that, under the circumstances, our federal immigration authorities: first, let them into the country; second, granted them resident alien status; and third, at least with Dzhokhar, granted naturalization? How many bites at the apple do the folks charged with administering our immigration and citizenship laws get before they prove that they can adequately screen out people who are ideologically and otherwise unfit to be here?"

2013-04-25
Robert X. Cringely _I, Cringely_
more on the H-1B visa scam
"Not a great joke, but it came to mind recently when a reader pointed me to a panel discussion last September at the Brookings Institution ironically about STEM education and the shortage of qualified IT workers.   Watch the video if you can, especially the part where MSFT general counsel Brad Smith offers to pay the government $10K each for up to 6K H-1B visas.   In the joke, this is analogous to the $10 offer.   There's a $1M offer, too, which is another U.S. visa -- the EB-5 so-called immigrant investor visa, 15K of which are available each year and most go unclaimed.   Why?   The EB-5 visa is better in many respects than the H-1B.   The EB-5, for one thing, is a true immigrant visa leading to U.S. citizenship, where the H-1B -- despite misleading arguments to the contrary -- is by law a non-immigrant visa good for 3 [years, renewable for another 3 years and extensible on a year-by-year basis after that] after which the worker has to go back to their native country.   But the EB-5 requires the immigrant bring with him or her $1M to be invested locally in an active business.   What's wrong with that? Can't MSFT or any other big tech employer suffering from a severe lack of technical workers just set these immigrants up as little corporations capitalized at $1M?   It must be a better return on investment than the 1.52% Redmond made on its billions in cash in 2011.   Yet they don't do it.   Why?   The answer is simple economics wrapped up in a huge stinking lie.   First of all there is no critical shortage of technical workers.   That's the lie.   Here's a study released just yesterday from the Economic Policy Institute that shows there is no shortage of native U.S. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workers.   None at all.   You may recall this lack of a true labor shortage was confirmed empirically in another column of mine looking at tech hiring in Memphis, TN."

2013-04-25 (5773 Iyar 15)
Ann Coulter _Jewish World Review_
the problem isn't only illegal immigration, it's excessive legal immigration with standards that are too low, also
"Track him? How about not admitting him as an immigrant?...     My thought is, maybe we should consider admitting immigrants who can succeed in America, rather than dead-beats...   Teddy Kennedy's 1965 immigration act so dramatically altered the kinds of immigrants America admits that, since 1969, about 85 percent of legal immigrants have come from the Third World.   They bring Third World levels of poverty, fertility, illegitimacy and domestic violence with them.   When they can't make it in America, they simply go on welfare and sometimes strike out at Americans."

2013-04-25 (5773 Iyar 15)
Deroy Murdock _National Review_
our borders: welcome mats for terrorists
Ruthfully Yours
HyScience
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "As presented in an article in _Design News_, the technical logic is inescapable: 'To an engineer, it looks obvious. Gasoline packs 80 times [as much] energy per kilogram [as] a lithium-ion electric vehicle battery. It holds 250 times [as much] energy [as] a common lead-acid battery." --- Henry Petroski 2010 _The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems_ pg137 (citing Charles J. Murray 2008-04-28 "It's Not a Slam Dunk" _Design News_ pg38)  

 
 

2013-04-26

2013-04-26
_Dice_/_Slash Dot_
study confirms there is not a shortage of US citizen STEM professionals

2013-04-26
Pavel Belolipetsky
the Shifts hypothesis of global climate changes

2013-04-26
Benny Peiser
Japan moderates environmental insanity

2013-04-26
David French _Christian Post_
left launches attack against adoptions by Christians

2013-04-26
_Fox_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 78.6 in late March to 72.3 in early April to 76.4 in late April
NASDAQ
CNBC/Reuters
Ruth Mantell: MarketWatch
St. Louis Fed

2013-04-26
Jane Susskind _IVN_
Zuckerberg's campaign is about cheap, young, pliant, low-skilled foreign labor with flexible ethics, not immigration reform

2013-04-26 (5773 Iyar 16)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
time to confront Obummer
"On Tuesday morning, the head of the IDF's Military Intelligence Analysis division brigadier-general Itay Brun revealed that the Syrian government has already used 'lethal chemical weapons', against Syrian civilians and opposition forces.   Brun described footage of people visibly suffering the impact of chemical agents, apparently sarin gas...   But as a European source told Ma'ariv, the [Obummer regime doesn't] want to know the facts.   The facts will make them do something about Syria's chemical weapons.   And they don't want to do anything about Syria's chemical weapons...   Also on Tuesday, the former head of IDF Military Intelligence, major-general (reserves) Amos Yadlin, said that Iran has already crossed the red line Israel set last year.   It has already stockpiled 170 kg. of medium-enriched uranium, and can quickly produce the other 80 kg. necessary to reach the 250 kg. threshold Netanyahu said will mark Iran's achievement of break-out capability where it can build a nuclear arsenal whenever it wants."

2013-04-26 (5773 Iyar 16)
Clifford D. May _Jewish World Review_
defense in the age of Islamic terrorism

2013-04-26 (5773 Iyar 16)
Michelle Malkin _Jewish World Review_
a national security history lesson for Marco Rubio
"Newsflash: The concept of a national security entry-exit screening data-base is at least 10 years old.   It's an idea that was sabotaged by the [regressive=leftist] soft-on-security ideologues with whom Rubio has recklessly partnered...   NSEERS, the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System...stopped at least 330 known foreign criminals and 3 known terrorists who had attempted to come into the country at certain official ports of entry...   The targeted registration of certain foreign nationals already in the country (temporary visa holders including students, tourists and businesspeople) resulted in the apprehension of dozens of illegal alien felons.   As I reported at the time, these scumbags included: a Tunisian convicted of multiple drug-trafficking offenses, in addition to previous violations of immigration law; an Iranian who had been convicted three times of assault with a deadly weapon and had been convicted twice of grand theft in addition to immigration violations; an Iranian twice convicted of child molestation; 2 suspected al-Qaida operatives who were caught trying to enter the U.S.A. after their finger-prints matched ones lifted by our military officials from papers found in Afghanistan caves...   a successful program would have laid the groundwork for a broader nationwide entry-exit system affecting all foreign visitors.   Congress mandated that system 6 times over the past 17 years.   It has yet to be built...   When the [Obummer regime] took over...it indefinitely suspended the NSEERS pilot program and has no plans to revive it in the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombings.   Now the Gang of Eight Republicans want conservatives to jump in bed with these security saboteurs for another Amnesty Now, Enforcement Never plan? Who's Rubio kidding? Only himself."

2013-04-26
Jane M. von Bergen _Philadelphia PA Inquirer_
Rutgers expert warns on guest-work visas
"The problem, he said, is that various work visas are bringing in so many STEM workers from other countries who are willing to work for lower wages that U.S. STEM graduates either can't command the pay they expected or can't find jobs in their fields...   'It's Econ 101.', said public policy professor Hal Salzman, a senior fellow at the school's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development in New Brunswick...   There's no shortage of home-grown talent, Salzman said, but there is a lack of willingness to pay for it [or even bargain over price]...   Companies that offer to help U.S. businesses lower costs by moving their information technology functions and jobs abroad often circulate H-1B guest workers into their U.S. offices to help them understand American clients and work in quality control, he said.   One of those companies is Cognizant, head-quartered in Teaneck [but with roots in Bangalore, as well].   It asked for more than 9K H-1B visas in fiscal 2012...   For example, he said, in 2009, two-thirds of computer science graduates worked in their field.   Of the one-third that didn't, 3 in 10 said they couldn't find a job.   5 in 10 said they chose another field due to better pay, promotions, and working conditions, according to their research, based on government data...   If there were truly shortages, Salzman said, the market would push up wages for workers, providing an incentive for more people to enter the field.   But, he said, pay has stayed flat in technology corridors throughout the nation, including one in the Trenton area...   Salzman said that companies don't have to prove that they have searched for [and seriously considered actually hiring an able and willing] U.S. worker before filling the spot with a foreign worker..."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "Where most countries had a small aristocracy -- that of the Germanies was no more than 5% of the population; that of England, an even smaller 3% -- no fewer than 1 Pole in 10 counted themselves part of the szlachta. &bsp; Inevitably, that formal claim fell afoul of economic reality.   Most szlachta families really weren't much if any wealthier than the peasants among whom they lived." --- Eric Flint & Panteleimon Roberts 2011 _1636: The Saxon UpRising_  

 
 

2013-04-27

2013-04-27
Anthony Watts
elevated CO2 may extend inter-glacial period, stave off next ice age

2013-04-27
_KMSP TV, Minneapolis-St. Paul MN_
rally against MN extortion bill draws many
Fargo-Moorehead ND InForum
"'Hard-working [tax-victims] cannot afford to give one more dime to wasteful and inefficient government.', senate minority leader David Hann said.   'We believe we are taxed enough already.', representative Michele Bachmann said.   'We believe that government should not spend more than what it takes in.'   What has Michele Bachmann and the rest of them so fired up about controversial tax bills making their way through the legislature.   The House created a plan that creates a new tax bracket for those making more than $400K a year.   It also raises tax on beer, wine and cigarettes.   It passed without a single Republican vote...   they would rather see spending cuts and a smaller, more efficient government to balance the state budget as the spot-light now turns to the senate...   The senate measure includes a spike in the top income tax rate to 9.4%, impacting individuals making $80K a year and couples earning $141K.   'Seems like we're taxing anything that comes along, from clothing to alcohol to everything.', Eden Prairie man Steve Stuckel said."
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "In 1998, Chinese Indonesians, only 3% of the population, controlled roughly 70% of Indonesia's private economy, including all of the country's largest conglomerates.   More recently, in Burma, entrepreneurial Chinese have literally taken over the economies of Mandalay and Rangoon.   Whites are a market-dominant minority in South Africa -- and, in a more complicated sense, in Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, and much of Latin America.   Lebanese are a market-dominant minority in West Africa.   Ibo are a market-dominant minority in Nigeria.   Croats are a market-dominant minority in the former Yugoslavia.   And Jews are almost certainly a market-dominant minority in post-Communist Russia." --- Amy Chua 2003, 2004 _World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability_ pg6  

 
 

2013-04-28

2013-04-28
Anthony Watts
MIT claims photo-voltaic break-through: 2 electrons released for ever photon
"organic dye called pentacene...   'The MIT team was able, for the first time, to perform a successful proof of principle of the idea, which is known as singlet exciton fission...   In a standard cell, any excess energy carried by a photon is wasted as heat, whereas in the new system the extra energy goes into [releasing] 2 electrons instead of one.'"

2013-04-28
Anthony Watts
more CO2 -> more plants -> more aerosols -> global cooling

2013-04-28
John Tamny _Forbes_
de-mystifying the naively demonized symbol that is Wall Street
"the financial world that is symbolized by 'Wall Street' is for the most part no longer on or even near the actual Wall Street in lower Manhattan... the major banks and financial institutions...in modern times tend to office in midtown Manhattan [which seems very close to Wall Street to anyone in Pennsylvania or Vermont, let alone Indiana or Kansas]... the locale most known for clusters of the top hedging minds is Greenwich, CT..."

2013-04-28
Scott Uhrig
the real employment crisis
"unemployment stands around 8%, and underemployment has been estimated at 20%.   Here's what you may not realize.   Most of the people who wish they could find a job are gainfully employed.   In fact, it's been estimated that 50% to 80% of people with jobs are in jobs for which they're not particularly well-suited.   These people are misemployed.   Not to diminish the gravity of unemployment, but misemployment is a more prevalent problem that affects a larger group of people.   In addition, misemployment is often a precursor to unemployment.   In 1980, Dr. Herb Greenberg, the founder and CEO of Caliper, conducted the original study on misemployment.   Greenberg found that 70% of people studied were misemployed.   Misemployment can lead to unhappiness, poor productivity, and, ultimately, unemployment.   Greenberg states that even today, more than 30 years after the study, misemployment is still around 70%."

2013-04-28
Todd Starnes _Fox_
10 year old Californian suspended from school for bringing Swiss army knife on camping trip

2013-04-28
Michael Cutler _News with Views_
the 8 gangsters' immigration law perversion bill (S744) and the myriad abysmal failures of the immigration system
"fraud largely goes undetected and unpunished...   America really needs COMPILE (Comprehensive Immigration Law Enforcement)!"
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "in SouthEast Asia an estimated 30M women and children have been trafficked -- in the past 10 years [presumably 1991-2000 or 1995-2004]...   Cross-border trafficking, which is only 1 part of the picture, transports an estimated 700K to 2M people per year...   According to the UN, when trafficking and human smuggling are combined an overall picture emerges of a 'people trade' that affects at least 4M people every year, for a value of $7G to 10G.   Arguably it is more, as human smuggling out of China alone has been estimated between $1G and $3G per year, and the FBI reckons that the Mexican people trade earns the networks $6G to $9G each year." --- Moises Naim 2005 _Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and CopyCats Are Hijacking the Global Economy_ pg88 (citing David Kyle & Rey Koslowski 2001 _Global Human Smuggling_ pp3-4; International Organization for Migration 2001 April "New IOM Figures on the Global Scale of Trafficking" _Trafficking in Migrants Quarterly Bulletin_ #23 http://www.iom.int/; Frank Laczko 2002-11-01 "Human Trafficking: The Need for Better Data" Migration Policy Institute; Barbara Crossette 2000-06-25 "UN Warns Taht Trafficking in Human Beings Is Growing" _NYTimes_; UN Population Fund "State of the World's Cities 2004/2005: Globalization and Urban Culture"; David Feingold 2005 "Think Again: Human Trafficking" _Foreign Policy_; Oscar Becerra 2004 December "Mexican People Smuggling Trade Worth Billions" _Jane's Intelligence Review_ pg30)  

 
 

2013-04-29

2013-04-29
Charles Cooper _CNET_/_Ziff Davis_/_CBS_
shortage of tech workers? Not so fast
"During the run-up to the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, the number of students pursuing computer science doubled, according to Salzman.   After the dot-com bust, he said, the market behaved the way one would expect it to as average wages plummeted and unemployment shot up.   Nowadays, employment and wage levels in many IT sectors remain flat, hovering around their late 1990s levels.   Yet just 1 of every 2 U.S. students with STEM degrees finds employment in their chosen profession.   In part, that's because many of those slots are getting filled by lower-paid guest workers."

2013-04-29
Robert X. Cringely _Beta News_
H-1B visa should not be granted when Americans lose jobs

2013-04-29
Kathy Tomlinson _CBC_
lots of scamming involved in India-based cross-border bodyshops
"Claims include faked resumes, visa violations and discrimination against Canadians...   'I need to stop this scam.   I am hurting.', said one experienced Canadian IT worker, originally from India, who told CBC he's been pushed out of his industry as a result of out-sourcing.   He and others told Go Public that they have seen up close how the Indian companies operate in banks and other major Canadian corporations, where the multi-nationals have large contracts to do IT work...   The scam allegedly includes bringing in cheaper workers from India -- some with grossly exaggerated resumes -- who then can't perform on the job, causing delays and mistakes on projects for Canadian companies...   The insiders claim there are bonus incentives for managers of Canadian companies that sign on, promises of big savings that can't be delivered and violations of work visa rules in the process.   'They would push the banks to hire these people and to select them over other people that were genuinely more qualified.', said a former bank insider.   'There were kick-backs...certain bonuses that were flying back and forth between individuals who were in a hiring position.'   A former employee of one of the multi-nationals said Canadian executives were 'dazzled' by the sales pitches, promising workers who could do more for less...   The bottom line, said the people who contacted CBC, is Indian companies are earning millions bringing cheaper IT labour into Canada, while also moving some of the work over-seas...   'It's very big.   It's coast to coast.   It's huge and it's every company.', said another worker.   Several of them have written to the prime minister, their MPs or the Immigration Department about this in recent years.   They said they got little or no response...   TCS... Other companies include iGATE, which provides workers to RBC, and Cognizant, which reportedly does IT work for Loblaw and Manulife.   Mahindra Satyam is another company mentioned frequently, for doing IT work for Scotiabank...   Several insiders claimed worker qualifications were faked or exaggerated on paper in order to qualify for the visas and jobs.   'The resumes were customized to match the skills that the banks required.', said the former bank insider.   She added that some multi-national employees told her that if they needed specific certifications they could buy them in India...   Go Public obtained several resumes from Indian nationals in the IT field.   One claimed he was a 'Senior Systems Engineer' at 22 years old, but fresh out of school.   Another called himself a 'Software Developer' at 21, when he had no prior experience.   'The skill sets were exaggerated.', said the former bank insider.   'They looked too good to be true.'   'Some don't even have the degrees.', claimed one of the insiders.   'They show that they are master's or bachelor's [degrees] or skilled with whatever experience but they don't have it.   They do 2-week crash courses before coming here.'   Quietly, they really struggle.', said another insider.   'We help them.   And we know, after that, we are going to be replaced.'   Government figures show 16,299 foreign workers from India were in Canada in December of 2011, a steady increase from 2,171 in 2002."

2013-04-29
Victor Davis Hanson _PJ Media_
Why you should read old books
"With classical training, our impatient youth might at least gain some perspective that the world is one where the better man is often passed over -- precisely because he is the better man...   Society is as in need of better men as it is suspicious of them when it no longer needs them...   Thucydides' Pericles warned us that orators had to be careful when speaking of the dead lest they so emphasize the gifts of the deceased that such praise invoke envy in the listeners, who in anger realize that their own lives fall short of the fallen...   with material progress often comes moral regress...   How odd that these guys are not even happy when they win what they sought.   By hook or crook they win [ObummerDoesn'tCare] and now those who wrote the bill wish themselves and their staffs to be exempt from it, as if ol' Doc' is still around to practice folksy medicine out of his office at home.   They want the dwindling rivers to run freely to the Bay deltas to allow mythical salmon to swim to the Sierra, but count on the awful man-caused reservoirs alone to give them the water to waste.   Palo Alto and Menlo Park got everything they ever dreamed up: [Obummer], 'diversity', vast cash redistributions, a left-wing governor and legislature, a new race/class/gender school curriculum, unionized state employees, a blue political class, vast riches from a green Silicon Valley...and what?   The young millionaires scramble to get their children into one of the growing number of private academies so they will not have to study the curricula with the 'other' and join the poorly prepared students who are the logical ramifications of their own ideology.   If they had a drawl, it might be the South's 1965-era academies all over again.   When I see the contemporary CSU campus -- larger than ever, more administrators than at any time in its past, greatest enrollments in history, students on generous subsidies with an array of electronic gadgetry and new Camrys and Accords in the brand-new solar-roofed parking lots -- and I hear of 'crippling budget cuts', 'shorting the students,' and 'a campus in crisis', I assume that most of those who graduated in 1960 would find the current curricula a bad joke, and that today's students would flunk most of the classes offered 50 years ago -- iPads and Twitter notwithstanding."

2013-04-29
Robert Moore _Cenantua_
last children of Civil War veterans are dying

2013-04-29
Anthony Watts
Russian scientists predict global cooling ahead due to solar cycles

2013-04-29
Viv Forbes
clean coal by wire
"City air pollution is nothing new.   King Edward i complained about London pollution in 1306, as did queen Elizabeth i in 1578, long before the first steam engine operated.   Let's look at the causes of some famous smogs -- London/Pittsburgh, Los Angeles/Santiago, the Dust Bowls and the Asian Smogs.   The London smogs were caused by open-air combustion of newspapers, wood and cheap high-sulphur unwashed coal in domestic fires, stoves and boilers; by coal-burning blacksmiths, brewers and ironworkers in smoky forges, furnaces and coke plants; and by many smoky steam locomotives; all with inefficient combustion and no pollution controls.   The smog was slowly eliminated by clean air regulations and by changing to 'clean coal by pipe' (town gas) and 'clean coal by wire' (electricity)."

2013-04-29
Bruce Webster
"scientist" con-man
IT World/IDG
National Socialist Radio
Boston MA Globe
"'[Diederik Stapel] had committed fraud in at least 55 of his papers, as well as in 10 Ph.D. dissertations written by his students.'"

2013-04-29
Barry Rubin _PJ Media_
Recent examples of media shaping messages to influence the public

2013-04-29
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
Atlantic writer changes mind on H-1B
 
Interesting web log by The Atlantic's Jordan Weissmann, titled "The Myth of America's Tech-Talent Shortage: And What It Should Mean for Immigration Reform.
 
The web log is based on the recent EPI paper by Salzman, Kuenn and Lowell.   The writer notes at the end of the piece
 
*********************************************************
 
A note to regular readers: A few Atlantic fans might recall that I've written much more blithely in support of increasing the H1-B program cap in the past.   As I've learned more about the program, my thoughts about it have obviously changed.   While I would love it if all of my opinions were unimpeachably well thought out, I think I have an obligation to be transparent in cases where they were not.
 
*********************************************************

 
Weissmann's turn-about shows just how devastatingly effective the tech industry's PR machine has been in the last 10 years or so.   I've mentioned this often, noting that in my opinion the press is especially gullible on this issue because of what I call "physics envy", referring to people who steered as far away from STEM as possible in college, but are now mesmerized by computers and the like.   They think you have to be a genius to program those things, and they are highly susceptible to the industry lobbyists' relentless "Johnny Can't Do Math" image.   (Never mind that most software engineers never use math in their work.)
 
In addition, there's the "anyone who has reservations about any aspect of immigration must be a Tea Partyer" [or a "xenophobe"] mentality which I find common in the press and certain DC circles.   So, Weissmann had readily accepted the industry claims.
 
In spite of his admirable mea culpa -- how often do we see a journalist say such a thing? -- he still seems to be conflicted.   In spite of his new skepticism on H-1B, he agrees with a Brookings report that claims H-1B needs at least to be geographically redstributed.   How is that consistent, especially in view of his apology for an earlier pro-H-1B column that was based on Brookings?   As I understand it, the Brookings geographical analysis doesn't do much more than say "Employers in region X hire a lot of H-1Bs, so they must be using the program responsibly."   If Weissmann believes in that logic, the rest of his current web log just doesn't make sense.
 
Similarly, how does he reconcile the findings of Salzman et al. with those in the working (i.e. draft) paper by my UCD colleague Giovanni Peri and his co-athors?   As I said recently, based on just a skim-through, I see very serious methodological problems with the Peri paper, but my question here is how Weissmann views it.   Granted, he uses very cautious language regarding that paper, but the 2 papers certainly would seem to be at odds with each other.
 
Maybe Weissmann reconciles the 2 papers by a "the more the merrier" argument.   He does say, "over the long term we really do want more immigration", and describes the H-1Bs, educated in STEM, as ideal immigrants.   But that would seem to really contradict another of his previous web logs, linked to from this one, in which he shows how bad a glut of STEM people can make things for everyone.
 
Another possibility is that Weissmann still believes in the very column he is now recanting, titled "Why Is the United States Telling Immigrant Geniuses to Get Lost?"   IOW, Weissmann is interpreting the Peri paper as saying that the H-1Bs tend to be "geniuses" who have disproportionate positive impact.   (Though he mentions my work on H-1B, it's not clear whether he's seen my EPI study debunking that image.)
 
Still another possibility, hinted at in his current blog, is that he thinks that most of the abuse of H-1B comes from the out-sourcing firms [the domestic and cross-border bodyshoppers], which he does briefly mention.   But this would be contradictory too, since his overall theme seems to be that he is skeptical of the "shortage" claims of the main-stream firms.
 
It would appear that the effect of all that PR work by the industry and its allies still has not completely worn off in Jordan Weissmann.   It will be interesting to see his further blogs on this subject, if he sticks with it.
 
BTW, there's a AAAS Science Careers interview of Hal Salzman [today by Michael Price]. ["students look at the field and see the relatively poor job opportunities and middling salaries and seek work elsewhere.   Guest-workers, the report argues, still seek those jobs because they come from countries where job opportunities are worse...   They [executives] observe that this keeps wages down, and I suspect that is a non-trivial part of the lobbying effort...   when it comes to them being on the other side of the market, the buying side, for some reason they think there's a role for government to play in increasing supply so wages don't go up.   And maybe that's what they call a shortage: having to pay more than you want.   The dilemma for them is that all the evidence lines up to say there's no shortage.   There are no data to indicate shortage, however you cut it...   Lobbying is a solution to lack of evidence..." --- Hal Salzman] Norm
---30---

2013-04-29
_Town Hall_/_AP_
Mexican government ends access for US agencies fighting gangsters/mobsters

2013-04-29
_Knoxville TN News Sentinel_
Quality Solutions Group hiring 25
"The expansion represents a $1.5M investment...   QSG provides warehousing, quality inspection, packaging and fulfillment to the military and automotive and medical industries.   The company also supports businesses by providing them with lean manufacturing, custom built crates and pallets, dunnage washing and more.   The expansion will add an additional 34K square feet to the existing 38K square foot facility located in the John L. Marshall Technology Park in Sevierville."

2013-04-29
Robert L. Sternberg _Chronicle of Higher Education_
15 ways academicians sabotage their careers

2013-04-29
Robert L. Sternberg _Chronicle of Higher Education_
Are you too good to be noticed? or do too much self-promotion?
"we are rewarding the noisy people and ignoring the quiet ones.   Colleagues who continually point out their own accomplishments, or make a big deal out of simply meeting expectations, often over-shadow those who focus on getting things done rather than getting credit.   As a result, individuals who are motivated by intrinsic rewards rather than public acclaim are often invisible and can be ignored when prizes are distributed.   Maintaining professional visibility is critical for long-term career success, but making one's accomplishments visible without looking like a shameless self-promoter can be a special challenge for many of us."

2013-04-29
Michael Reagan _News Max_
S744 is full of favors
"Now we know why the Gang of Ocho conducted most of their 'immigration reform' talks in secret: they wanted plenty of time to hide special favors in the 844-page bill before the public had time to learn about the loop-holes.   This is one of the main reasons my father always wanted 'clean' bills when he was president.   A bill that is focused on a single problem or issue is less complicated, easier to follow and simple for the public to understand.   The [reprehensible immigration law perversion bll] as it currently stands is none of this and it is no doubt why the senators want the bill on a fast track or vía rápida...   Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, wants more visas for the meat industry; senator Charles Schumer, D-NY, wants more Irish workers; senator Marco Rubio, R-FL, wants help for the cruise ship industry; and senator Michael Bennet, D-CO, found a way to help the ski industry, although personally I don't know if the senate can force the weather to cooperate.   Each of these provisions will contribute toward lowering the unemployment rate in Ireland, Central America, and Europe, but it will do nothing for the U.S. unemployment rate, which just happens to be where these men are senators."

2013-04-29
Courtney Coren _News Max_
hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer puts money behind reprehensible immigration law perversion
Maggie Haberman: Politico

2013-04-29
Tony Romm _Politico_
Sili Valley execs are learning the art of "secret money"
"Mark Zuckerberg...   The new group backing immigration reform counts among its founders LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman as well as leading investors John Doerr and Ron Conway.   Its 'major contributors', the group said earlier this month, include an array of Silicon Valley luminaries -- from Instagram's Kevin Systrom to Netflix's Reed Hastings.   MSFT's Bill Gates joined the new effort last week, just as its subsidiaries began airing TV ads praising senators Mark Begich and Lindsey Graham on energy policy as a way to build support for law-makers [backing immigration law perversion]."

2013-04-29
Andrew Restuccia _Politico_
leftists critize Mark Zuckerberg for backing immigration law perversion, energy, RINOs

2013-04-29 (5773 Iyar 19)
Kim Murphy _Jewish World Review_
"Misha" turns up in Rhode Island
"For days since the Boston marathon bombings, people have been searching for the mysterious 'Misha', the friend with the thin red beard who supposedly tutored bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the ways of more pious Islam.   Also hot on his trail was the FBI, which wondered whether 'Misha', described by Tsarnaev family members as an Armenian who converted to Islam, could have known something about Tsarnaev and his brother's alleged plans to plant homemade bombs at the marathon finish line on April 15.   It appears the mystery is over -- solved by no less a heavyweight news organization than the New York Review of Books. Acting on a tip from someone who knows the Tsarnaevs, writer Christian Caryl traveled to Rhode Island to interview the man: Mikhail Allakhverdov, 39, who is of Armenian-Ukrainian descent."

2013-04-29 (5773 Iyar 19)
Pete Spotts _Jewish World Review_
Tiny satellites + cellular telephones == cheaper "eyes in the sky"

2013-04-29 (5773 Iyar 19)
Mark Steyn _Jewish World Review_
the Tsarnaevs
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "Right now…there is a sufficiency of engineers, but one of our greatest industrial organizations, after careful study, predicts the entire absorption of this group by the end of 1936, with a probable shortage of available engineers at that time." --- Collins P. Bliss 1934 dean of New York University’s College of Engineering (IEEE Spectrum: The STEM "crisis" is a myth)  

 
 

2013-04-30

2013-04-30
Jeffry Bartash _MarketWatch_
consumers slightly more confident in April
CNBC/Reuters
NASDAQ
"Some 37.1% of people polled by the Conference Board said jobs are 'hard to get', up from 35.4% in March.   The percentage saying jobs are 'plentiful' right now edged up to 9.8% from 9.5%."

2013-04-30
Quentin Fottrell _MarketWatch_
research suggests money makes you happier: no limit to impact of increased wealth on satisfaction
"There's no end to how much happier money can make you, according to research to be published in the 2013 May edition of _American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings_ by economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, professors at the University of Michigan.   'The relationship between well-being and income is roughly linear-log and does not diminish as incomes rise.', the study -- Subjective Well-Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation? -- concludes.   'If there is a satiation point, we are yet to reach it.'...   Specifically, just over one-third (or 35%) of Americans making less than $10K reported being 'very happy' and just under one-quarter (24%) said they were 'very satisfied' with their lives.   Of those making over $500K, 100% reported being 'very happy' and said they were 'very satisfied' with their lives.   Outside the U.S.A., Stevenson and Wolfers found the same trends.   'In particular, there is no evidence that the slope flattens our beyond any particular satiation point in any nation.', they wrote...   Stevenson and Wolfers's study seems to contradict work in 1974 by economist Richard Easterlin, who argued that economic and happiness data suggested a 'paradox' in which increasing income after a certain point did not increase well-being.   Easterlin famously wrote that people in poorer countries were happier once they could afford basic necessities.   A follow-up study by [leftist] London School of Economics professor Richard Layard concluded that above $15K per person [which at that time was edging into upper-middle], 'higher average income is no guarantee of greater happiness'."

2013-04-30
Kenneth Hanner _News Max_
John Bolton: USA should resign from UN "clown convention"
"'We should defund all the activities of the Human Rights Council and then maybe they will pay attention.'...   Bolton said that simply firing Falk, who was appointed in 2008 to a 6-year term as UN special rapporteur on human rights in Palestinian territories, wouldn't solve the problem.   'I'm all in favor of firing him sooner rather than later.   But here's the sad news: He will be replaced with somebody else and it won't make a bit of difference.', Bolton said.   'I think the culture at the United Nations is such that merely firing one guy will not change anything.'"

2013-04-30
Rich Galen _Town Hall_
20th birth-day of world wide web

2013-04-30
Thomas E. Brewton
Obummer, president of the Anti-Science Society

2013-04-30
_Job Market Monitor_
USA tech talent glut

2013-04-30 (5773 Iyar 20)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
the art of the impossible
Town Hall
 
Proposed Bills 2013
 
 

  "In our society (that is, advanced western society) we have lost even the pretence of a common culture.   Persons educated with the greatest intensity we know can no longer communicate with each other on the plane of their major intellectual concern.   This is serious for our creatie, intellectual and, above all, our moral life.   It is leading us to interpret the past wrongly, to misjudge the present and to deny our hopes of the future.   It is making it difficult or impossible for us to take good action." --- Charles Percy Snow 1963 _The Two Cultures_ pg59 (quoted in Henry Petroski 2010 _The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems_ pg177)  

 
 

2013 April
_NSF_
national patterns of R&D resources: 2010-2011 data update

2013 April
William P. Ruger & Jason Sorens _Mercatus Center_
freedom in the 50 states: 2013 summary

2013 April
Steven A. Camarota _Center for Immigration Studies_
72% said they support (54% strongly) reducing the illegal immigrant population by requiring employers to check workers' legal status; 58% support reducing illegal immigration through more conscientious enforcement
 
Proposed Bills 13
 
 

  "Edwin Hubble... had determined that nearly all the galaxies in our field of view are flying away from us, and that the speed and distance of this retreat are neatly proportional: the farther away the galaxy, the faster it is moving.   Hubble realized that this could be expressed with a simple equatiln, Ho = v/d (where Ho is the [Hubble constant], v is the recessional velocity of a flying galaxy, and d is its distance away from us)...   astronomers don't use light years.   They use a distance called the parsec (a contraction of parallax and second), based on a universal measure called the stellar parallax and equivalent to 3.26 light-years.   Really big measures, like the size of a universe, are measured in mega-parsecs: a million parsecs.   The constant is expressed in terms of kilometers per second per megaparsec.   Thus when astronomers refer to a Hubble constant of 50, what they really mean is '50 kilometers per second per megaparsec'." --- Bill Bryson 2003 _A Short History of Nearly Everything_ pp168-169  

 
 



 
Proposed Bills 2013


Congressional candidate fund-raising, expenditures, and debt
 

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

  "With mounting demands for scientists both for teaching and for research, we will enter the postwar period with a serious deficit in our trained scientific personnel." --- Vannevar Bush 1945 director of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (IEEE Spectrum: The STEM "crisis" is a myth)  

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