Month: July 2013

Small Business Owners Are Complaining Because E-Verify Works, not Because it Doesn’t

The Wall Street Journal writes about the problems that employers are having with E-Verify, the online worker verification system run by the INS.

The problem is not that the system is too buggy, its early problems have been ironed out, and it’s not too expensive, it’s free, no, for the small businesses interviewed, the problem is that works the way that it is supposed to:

Since January, Daniel VanLoh has turned away nine new dishwashers and one line cook from his four Atlanta, Ga., restaurants within days of hiring them.

The reason: Not one was authorized to work in the U.S., according to background checks he ran on the job applicants using a federal verification system, known as E-Verify.

He says he’s now struggling to fill six openings, with some job seekers simply walking away after hearing that the company uses the free, Internet-based system to check their immigration status.

This is the way that this is supposed to work.  Proper enforcement of worker verification is supposed to keep people who want to work illegally out of the job rolls.

Here is the money quote:

This month, Georgia required small employers to screen applicants with the system, a move that extended existing requirements for larger firms. At least 15 other states, including Arizona, Mississippi and South Carolina, have enacted laws in recent years requiring at least some, if not all, employers to run E-Verify checks on job applicants before hiring them. The laws don’t require employers to check existing employees.

Scott Whitehead, who operates an Atlanta landscaping service, began using E-Verify July 1. Over the past three weeks, he says he hasn’t found a single authorized worker among more than 50 applicants at his metro area firm, Unlimited Landscaping & Turf Management Inc. “Every immigrant who walks through this door is illegal” according to the online check, says Mr. Whitehead, whose firm has more than 100 employees.

He says the checks are shrinking the pool of applicants he’s able to hire. As he struggles to fill openings, existing maintenance workers, most of whom he pays about $14 an hour, are demanding higher wages.

(emphasis mine)

Gee without the possibility of easily recruiting workers who are willing to live in immigration status enforced peonage, his workers are asking for more money.


BTW, Whitehead’s solution is to engage in illegal discrimination:

The system is also bringing anxieties about productivity, he says. To avoid running afoul of the new Georgia law, Mr. Whitehead plans to hire only U.S. citizens who clear the system, even though, in landscaping, he has found that immigrant workers are generally more productive.

This is a violation of the civil rights law.

You cannot discriminate against legal workers on the basis of immigration status.

Unemployment is over seven percent, and if your crappy job cannot attract legal workers at a given wage, then raise the f%$#ing wage.

Even in Bankruptcy, Detroit Must Pay for a Millionaire’s Toys

Bankruptcy, Schmankruptcy, billionaire Mike Ilitch’s new stadium must get its $450 million:

When Detroit filed for what is the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history, one of the items immediately placed on the potential chopping block was pensions for current retirees who had worked for the city. A pension shortfall accounts for $3.5 billion of the city’s $18 billion in debt, and the city’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, has called for “significant” pension cuts.

But even with pensions possibly getting the axe – along with who knows what else in terms of services for the already downtrodden city, or even masterpieces at the Detroit Institute of Art – Detroit still seems ready to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars to help pay for a new arena for the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings………

This is not The Onion.

Detroit is in bankruptcy (sort of, long story), but this billionaire has to get a shiny new stadium for his team.

It buggers the mind.


Below is a recent video of the proto-Punk group Death.

This group (some of the guys on stage in the vid are the sons of the original members) were from Detroit in the 1970s.

They predated the Sex Pistols, and the Ramones, and the Dead Kennedys, and the Clash by a few years.

As I’ve noted earlier, it does make you wonder how much the emergence of Punk was more of a societal trend than it was a

We Lose

The House has narrowly rejected an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill to restrict NSA spying on Americans:

U.S. lawmakers angry about domestic telephone record-collection lost an effort to curtail funding for the intelligence-gathering tools revealed by fugitive U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden.

On a vote of 205-217, the House rejected an amendment that would have limited the National Security Agency’s ability to collect communications records.

Implementation of the amendment could have created a new burden on telephone and Internet companies to retain bulk data, in addition to ending the NSA’s blanket collection of phone records. Those possibilities led the White House, Republicans leaders and many congressional Democrats to oppose the proposals, pitting them against lawmakers from both parties who champion civil liberties and privacy.

The by-party tally is Democrats  (111-83), and Republicans (94-134), a 5 vote margin, and it is almost certainly only because Obama started seriously twisting arms on the Dem side of the aisle in the past 48 hours or so.  (My rep, John Sarbanes, voted yes).

Hopefully, this is only the start of the fight, and the next time, the good guys will pick up a few more votes, and win.

Just When You Thought that Obama’s Secrecy Fetish Could Not Get Any More Reprehensible………

I present to you the case of Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, who was imprisoned at the demand of the US government because he revealed that it was a US drone strike, and not a Yemeni army attack, that killed 41 civilians in al-Majalla in 2009.

His “trial” was condemned as a kangaroo court by numerous human rights group, and when the President of Yemen wanted to pardon him because of internal protests, Barack Obama personally called him to brow beat him into extending his detention.

Well, Shaye has now been released, but the official wheels in the Obama administration continue to try to grind him to dust:

News broke yesterday afternoon that, after a nearly three-year-long imprisonment, Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye had been released by the Yemeni government. Shaye’s work drew international attention in 2009 when he reported on a U.S. airstrike in the Yemeni village of al-Majalla that killed 41 civilians. He also conducted multiple interviews with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

U.S. officials, including the U.S. ambassador to Yemen, have told journalists that Shaye facilitated AQAP attacks, but his accounts of his arrest detail press intimidation by the Yemeni government, then still headed by Ali Abdullah Saleh, who resigned amid mass protests in November 2011. Shaye’s five-year prison sentence has drawn criticism from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the International Federation of Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Yemen-based Freedom Foundation.

The U.S. government is still concerned about Shaye. Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, told FP this morning by email, “We are concerned and disappointed by the early release of Abd-Ilah al-Shai, who was sentenced by a Yemeni court to five years in prison for his involvement with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.” Meehan did not comment on whether the United States advocated against his release.

This is so repulsive on so many levels.

Damn It Feels Good To Be A Banksta

Because as a bankster you can break into someone’s house, and take all their stuff, and not only are not arrested, you don’t have to pay them anything for this:

An Ohio bank is refusing to reimburse a Vinton County woman whose house they unjustly repossessed while she was out of town.

Katie Barnett recently returned home after being away for two weeks to find that the lock on her door had been changed. She crawled in through the window to find all of her stuff missing.

Barnett suspected she had been robbed — and she wasn’t too far off.

It seems that, while Barnett was gone, the First National Bank of Wellston arrived at her place of residence, broke in, and took possession of all her belongings, including the house.

Except, as it later turned out, they had the wrong address.

“They told me that the GPS led them to my house,” Barnett told 10TV. “My grass hadn’t been mowed and they just assumed.”

Phoning the local police to report the incident did Barnett little good, as the McArthur Police Chief refused to investigate and considered the case closed.

But for Barnett, the ordeal is very much ongoing.

With all of her stuff either sold off by the bank or thrashed, the homeowner presented the bank’s president with an $18,000 estimate for restitution.

He refused to pay up.

“He got very firm with me and said, ‘We’re not paying you retail here, that’s just the way it is,’” Barnett recalled. “I did not tell them to come in my house and make me an offer. They took my stuff and I want it back.”

(emphasis mine)

Seriously, will no one prosecute these rat bastards?

They break into your house, they steal and trash all of your stuff, and when caught, they refuse to make you whole.

I would suggest that Katie Barnett lawyer up, put a lien on the f%$#ing bank’s HQ, and then start foreclosure proceedings.

A Patent Troll Bites the Dust

One of the worst of the parasite, Eolas, has had its patents invalidated:

The inventor of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, had never testified in court before last year. In February 2012, he left Cambridge to fly down to Tyler, an East Texas city of about 100,000, to testify at a patent trial. It was the culmination of a bold campaign by a man named Michael Doyle to levy a vast patent tax on the modern web.

Berners-Lee was one of several web pioneers who came through the court during the course of a four-day trial, which ultimately convinced a jury to invalidate two patents owned by Eolas, the tiny patent-holding company that Doyle and his lawyers transformed into one of the most fearsome “patent trolls” of all time.

Now Eolas appears to be gone for good. The company mounted a lengthy appeal, but it was all for naught; this morning, a three-judge appeals panel affirmed the jury’s verdict without comment.


Pei-Yuan Wei created the pioneering Viola browser, a key piece of prior art, while he was a student at UC-Berkeley in the early 1990s. Scott Silvey, another UC-Berkeley student at that time, testified about a program he made called VPlot, which allowed users to rotate an image of an airplane using Wei’s browser. VPlot and Viola were demonstrated to Sun Microsystems in May 1993, months before Doyle claimed to have conceived of his invention.

Eolas claimed an tremendously broad patent on all forms of interactive web products.

Why the f%$# has Eolas been able to blackmail people for so long?


Why Janet Yellen will not Become the Federal Reserve Chairman

Because she has ovaries:

The favored parlor game of the political-economic complex right now is guessing who will replace Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The clear front-runner is Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen. But she’s by no means a sure thing.

One important reason she’s not — and I don’t know another way to say this — is sexism, as evidenced by the whispering campaign that’s emerged against her.

The message isn’t always delivered in a whisper, of course. In May, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher suggested on CNBC that if Yellen is chosen, the pick will have been “driven by gender.” That’s more of a shouting campaign.

Fisher hastened to add that Yellen is “extremely capable.” But, he said, “there are other capable people.” Capable people, I guess, who are male, and thus whose picks wouldn’t be driven by gender.

But Fisher’s comments aren’t the sort that matter in this process. They’re too crude. The significant doubts about Yellen are transmitted with more subtlety, and for months they’ve been coursing through the cloistered, close fraternity that will drive the selection of Bernanke’s successor.

If you look at the dynamics of the Obama administration and finance, at least under the auspices of (the now thankfully in private life) Timothy Geithner was contempt against those who lacked a Y chromosome.

Notwithstanding the presence of Valerie Jarrett, the Obama administration has many of the aspects of an old boy’s club, and even if you ignore the “boys” part, it is a club, and Larry Summers is most assuredly a part of that club, and Janet Yellen isn’t.

Barack Obama Reveals that he is Black

Barack Obama has spent pretty much all of his time on the national stage trying to avoid the accusation that he is the stereotypical “Angry Black Man“, and so, with the brief exception (which he walked away from as quickly as he could) of a comment on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates.

This is why Obama saying that 35 years ago that he would be Trayvon Martin was such a big deal:

Barack Obama used an unexpected speech at the White House to personally address the debates over race relations that have convulsed America since George Zimmerman was acquitted over the shooting of the unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

In remarks immediately interpreted as the most expansive comments on race since he became president, Obama said the US was still not “a post-racial society”.

“You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is: Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” he said.

But once again, it appears that Obama immediately followed this up by pandering to bigots racial profilers by floating the name of New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who has aggressively profiled blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims:

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama endorsed New York City police commissioner, and stop-and-frisk cheerleader, Ray Kelly as an adequate replacement for Janet Napolitano as head of the Department of Homeland Security. Under Kelly, the New York Police Department’s policy on randomly stopping people in the streets and then questioning and patting them down for weapons and drugs, imposed a stiff burden on black and Latino residents. According to the ACLU in New York, between 2002 and 2011, black and Latino New Yorkers made up close to 90 percent of those stopped by police — 88 percent of whom had no weapons or drugs on them when it happened. Kelly has staunchly defended the policy regardless of the racial profiling it codifies and its fruitless conclusions.

But Obama told Univision on Wednesday that “Kelly has obviously done an extraordinary job in New York,” and that the police commissioner is “one of the best there is” — an “outstanding leader in New York.”

“Mr. Kelly might be very happy where he is,” said Obama. “But if he’s not I’d want to know about it. ‘Cause, you know, obviously he’d be very well qualified for the job.”

This endorsement seems tone deaf given the current conversations nationwide around national security. Kelly’s “extraordinary” work in New York City has led to the city council passing the Community Safety Act, which scales back the police’s ability to racially profile considerably. Kelly’s stop-and-frisk policy is being challenged in federal court by the Center for Constitutional Rights right now. Obama’s own Justice Department may be sending in a federal monitor to ensure that NYPD stops racial profiling. The following, questioning and apprehension of targeted black males is at the crux of the current debate around George Zimmerman’s killing Trayvon Martin.

Also, you have to read the New York Times OP/Ed by Ta-Nehisi Coates:

It was candidate Obama who in 2008 pledged to “ban racial profiling” on a federal level and work to have it prohibited on the state level. It was candidate Obama who told black people that if they voted they would get a new kind of politics. And it was State Senator Obama who understood that profiling was the antithesis of such politics. Those of us raising our boys in the wake of Trayvon, or beneath the eye of the Demographics Unit, cannot fathom how the president could forget this.

Of course, the best argument against allowing Ray Kelly anywhere near law enforcement are the words of Ray Kelly, who, writing in (where else) The Wall Street Journal, where he engages in transparent lying to defend his career:

Since 2002, the New York Police Department has taken tens of thousands of weapons off the street through proactive policing strategies. The effect this has had on the murder rate is staggering. In the 11 years before Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office, there were 13,212 murders in New York City. During the 11 years of his administration, there have been 5,849. That’s 7,383 lives saved—and if history is a guide, they are largely the lives of young men of color.

So far this year, murders are down 29% from the 50-year low achieved in 2012, and we’ve seen the fewest shootings in two decades.

He knows that these numbers are reflected nationwide in any number of cities with all sorts of different sorts of police tactics.

He knows these numbers, and the reason that he lies about this is because the only way that he can defend his contemptible policies is to misrepresent his numbers, and what they mean.


It’s a new feature for my blog.

Basically stuff that I don’t have anything about but, “KEWL!!!!

I’ll be doing this whenever the f%$# I feel like it.

For your amusement:

Obama Continues to Spy on Ordinary Americans

They just got a 3 month extension of its data drift net of Verizon, and one would assume everyone else too:

The National Security Agency has been allowed to extend its dragnet of the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon through a court order issued by the secret court that oversees surveillance.

In an unprecedented move prompted by the Guardian’s disclosure in June of the NSA’s indiscriminate collection of Verizon metadata, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has publicly revealed that the scheme has been extended yet again.

The statement does not mention Verizon by name, nor make clear how long the extension lasts for, but it is likely to span a further three months in line with previous routine orders from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa).

The announcement flowed, the statement said, from the decision to declassify aspects of the metadata grab “in order to provide the public with a more thorough and balanced understanding of the program”.

According to Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein, the Verizon phone surveillance has been in place – updated every three months – for at least six years, and it is understood to have been applied to other telecoms giants as well.

Not feeling hopey changey here.

What Yves Smith Said

She makes a compelling case against Larry Summers being the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Basically, it comes down to the fact that he is a polarizing personality who refuses to listen to others:

The big problem with Summers is not his record on deregulation (although that’s bad enough) or his foot-in-mouth remarks about women in math, or for suggesting that African countries would make for good toxic waste dumps. No, it’s his appalling record the one time he was in a leadership position, as president of Harvard. Summers was unquestionably the worst leader in Harvard’s history.

Summers, unduly impressed with his own economic credentials, overruled two successive presidents of Harvard Management Corporation (the in-house fund management operation chock full of well qualified and paid money managers that invest the Harvard endowment). Not content to let the pros have all the fun, Summers insisted on gambling with the university’s operating funds, which are the monies that come in every year (tuition and board payments, government grants, the payments out of the endowment allotted to the annual budget). His risk-taking left the University with over $2 billion in losses and unwind costs and forced wide-spread budget cuts, even down to getting rid of hot breakfasts.


So Summers couldn’t keep his ego out of the way, bullied the people around him, ignored the advice of not one but two presidents of Harvard Management, and left a smoldering pile of losses in his wake. And serious adults are prepared to allow someone with so little maturity and such misplaced self confidence to have major sway over much bigger economic decisions?

Summers’ second big problem is the scandal that led to his ouster at Harvard, which was NOT the “women suck at elite math and sciences” remarks. The university has conveniently let that be assumed to be the proximate cause.

In fact, it was Summers’ long-standing relationship with and protection of Andrei Schleifer, a Harvard economics professor, who was at the heart of a corruption scandal where he used his influential role on a Harvard contract advising on Russian privatization to enrich himself and his wife, his chief lieutenant Jonathan Hay, and other cronies. The US government sued Harvard for breach of contract and Shleifer and Hay for fraud and won.

And yes, he was also hip deep in the ouster of Brooksley Born for her demands that derivatives be regulated.

So, he doesn’t listen, he alienates those around him, he is deeply involved in a massive corruption scandal, and he has been wrong on basically everything outside of academe.

Given this record, I expect him to fail up into the Federal Reserve.

Helen Thomas Dead at 92


While it was clear from her statements later in life, she was aggressively anti-Zionist, it should be noted that this was not her journalistic beat.

On her beat, the White House, she was a pain in the ass to 10 successive administrations, which is what a reporter assigned to the White House is supposed to do.

Johnny Cashing It Today

Remember when I complained about ruining my shirt by leaving an uncapped pen in my pocket?

My dad, who follows my blog, sent me a bunch of dark colored shirts, including a black dress shirt.

Without thinking, I put on the black shirt today, and also grabbed a pair of black slacks.

I got comments on my style sense from about 5 people at work, the best being, “Johnny Cashing it today?”

I think that this is the closest that I have ever been to being fashionable in my life.

I Don’t Give a Crap

It has been reported that Britain’s biggest welfare family is expecting their first child.

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, is reportedly in labo(u)r.

To quote George Washington, “Let there be no Kings.”

Americans should not be following this news with baited breath.

I can’t wait to hear what Vonners, my (small R) republican British friend has to day about this.

Posted via mobile.

Gee, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

After all, the market solves everything, so the sale of the UK’s primary blood plasma supplier to Bain Capital should work out just fine:

The Government was tonight accused of gambling with the UK’s blood supply by selling the state-owned NHS plasma supplier to a US private equity firm.

The Department of Health overlooked several healthcare or pharmaceutical firms and at least one blood plasma specialist before choosing to sell an 80 per cent stake in Plasma Resources UK to Bain Capital, the company co-founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a £230m deal. The Government will retain a 20 per stake and a share of potential future profits.

PRUK has annual sales of around £110m and consists of two companies: it employs 200 people at Bio Products Laboratory (BPL) in Elstree, Hertfordshire, and more than 1,000 at DCI Biologicals Inc in the US. DCI collects plasma from American donors and sends it to BPL where it is separated into blood proteins, clotting factors and albumin for supply to NHS hospitals in the treatment of immune deficiencies, neurological diseases, and haemophilia.

Considering the damage caused in the US because the American Red Cross (under the direction of Liddy Dole) and big pharma, both of whom resisted 100% testing for years,and  killed tens of thousands of hemophiliacs in the United States, and many times that world wide, this does not fill em with confidence about the UK blood supply.