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2007 March 07 — Why Now?
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The Big Time

Today on the Daily Kitten they are featuring Madeleine, the Maine coon kitten of four legs good at Plush Life.

Maddie has pretty much taken over Plush Life, which is understandable once you see her.

March 7, 2007   7 Comments

And The Horse He Rode In On

I am not a disinterested party in this matter, and this is a rant about the nullification of the Emancipation Proclamation by high-tech companies with H-1B visas.

CNet reports: Gates calls for ‘infinite’ H-1Bs, better schools.

When asked by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) how many visas Congress should approve, Gates repeated a suggestion he made years ago: that there should be an “infinite” number. “Even though it might not be realistic,” he said, “I don’t think there should be any limit.”

Gregg said he “agreed 100 percent” that there shouldn’t be a limit on the number of highly skilled people in the country, but he suggested Congress might not be able to do more than double the quota.

Support for bumping up the number of visas is hardly universal. Advocacy groups representing American computer programmers and scientists, such as the Programmers Guild, have fiercely resisted the idea. They argue that companies like Microsoft have not been making a good-faith effort to recruit qualified Americans and that the current structure of the H-1B program allows American companies to hire foreign workers at lower pay rates than American counterparts.

If you are foolish enough to remain loyal to a company long enough you will approach the $100K salary level and feel like you should be able to take a vacation occasionally, and not work more than 50 hours a week. You will be laid off and replaced with a couple of H-1Bs who are nominally working on a different project in a different part of the company. This is only in the case of core business products that are too critical to be outsourced.

There will be no effort to hire American, merely a statement by the company that no one applied for the positions which means they must have the indentured servitude of an H-1B visa holder who can be dumped without risk. While the government keeps saying there are jobs in the IT sector, they never look at the number of under- and unemployed programmers, especially over the age of forty.

Any member of Congress who is tempted to vote for anything based on the testimony of Bill Gates should read a Microsoft warranty¹. After reading that piece of legal prose and having it parsed to explain exactly what it says, the member of Congress should be able to understand how trustworthy Bill Gates isn’t.

1. Microsoft only guarantees the quality of the media [CD-ROM or DVD] that their products are shipped on. They don’t guarantee that anything will be on the media, and if there is something on the media, they don’t guarantee that it will do anything. If the media is defective, they’ll replace it.

March 7, 2007   2 Comments

Iditarod Update

The Anchorage Daily News reports on the Stormy fortunes. Ten mushers are out, and some still going are banged up:

Bryan Mills of Merengo, Wisc., did, however, decide to play cowboy after he broke the tibia — the small bone — in his left leg.

“If I lived in Alaska, then I would scratch,” Mills said. “(But) I didn’t come all the way from Wisconsin to scratch.”

“There was a root sticking up and it banged the outside of my leg,” Mills said. “I heard a snap and thought the sled was broken. Then everything went numb in my leg. It was the scariest moment of my life.”

Stan Watkins III, a heart doctor in Anchorage who was here to watch the race, advised the 42-year-old to scratch, but Mills refused.

“This is what the Iditarod’s all about,” he said.

March 7, 2007   4 Comments

An Explanation

Dr. Cole, in response to the confusion by many pundits as to what the Libby trial was about, provides a short presentation: Libby’s Lies, Cheney’s Lies.

Anticipating the problems some people seem to have with reading comprehension, he provides pictures.

The United States has no real idea what Iran is actually doing because the current White House destroyed our best source of human intelligence on WMD operations in Iran when it exposed Valery Plame and her network. It is highly likely that people were killed or imprisoned when it became known they were working with or for the CIA front company that Ms. Plame managed. The US ability to gather intelligence was seriously degraded by what Libby, Rove, and Cheney [at a minimum] did. The national security of the United States was put at risk to prevent the people of the United States from learning that the White House was distorting intelligence to justify the decision to go to war with Iraq.

March 7, 2007   2 Comments