Archive for the ‘America’s Future’ Category

Jettison the Empire to Save the Republic 2015

In 1951 President Harry Truman ignored the advice of General Douglas MacArthur who rightly perceived that it was China that was the real threat. Truman fired MacArthur and doomed American troops to a limited war which dragged on for two more years.  Then when General Ridgeway and his meat grinder defense had bled the Chinese white, President Eisenhower refused to mount an offense and claim the victory instead settling for a peace that is no peace.

In 1973 the Watergate Congress took the lead in throwing away the victory our heroes had won in Vietnam.  In 1991 President George Bush I threw away the victory in the First Gulf War by not going to Bagdad and deposing Salaam Hussein.  Then he compounded the error by not supporting the Southern Shia or the Northern Kurds both of whom he had encouraged to rebel against the dictator.

Following this post-World War II tradition of not declaring war and not retaining victory George Bush II led us into Afghanistan but instead of finishing the job at Tora Bora or leaving once the Taliban were crushed he/we stayed on for a nation building exercise that has now cost more than 2,000 lives.  After the attacks of 9-11 we had every right to chastise the Taliban for sheltering and protecting the al Qaeda terrorists.  We defeated these Islamic fundamentalists in two months.  We smashed their power structure and drove them out of the country, a just punishment for facilitating and shielding the perpetrators of the sneak attacks on our nation.  We won the war but we never pacified the country.

That is when we should have declared victory and left with the admonishment, “If you do it again we’ll do it again.”  Instead we have stayed and stayed and stayed for what has become America’s longest war.

There can be no doubt that our heroes have fought with skill and valor.  And there can be no doubt that where Bush turned it into a nation building crusade to spread democracy among the tribal peoples of central Asia Obama turned it into a political prop for his re-election.  All the while during both administrations our soldiers have been dying and being wounded for something other than the national interest.  Our policies are subservient to the political ambition of the Progressives who have captured both political parties, of the cronies who control the major industries, and the life-tenured black-robed infallibles who decide what the Constitution means.

One sure way to end up in a bad situation is to fight the wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place.   The Middle East is disintegrating.  Our so-called allies, the Sunni states want us to fight for them in a thousand year-old sectarian religious war between them and their Shia co-religionists.

This brings me to several questions.  If the Shia states of Iran and Syria and their affiliated militias are such an existential threat to them why aren’t they willing to fight?  If the Sunni Reaction to the Shia is ISIS whom we have declared to be the next BIG thing, the one we are sworn to degrade and destroy and our Sunni allies have been supporting them or at least refusing to fight them either, why should we?  There is an old saying, “When your enemies are killing each other….let them.”

War is the deathbed of empires.  Look at History and see how war has debilitated and destroyed empires from Rome to Britain to the USSR.  Today we have been bled dry by endless wars for peace.  Our economy cannot seem to recover from the late great recession.  Our leaders are not really engaged in foreign affairs.  We are adrift as they concentrate on fundamentally transforming us into a Progressive utopia.

Now is not the time for another war whether it is against the Shia states or militias or against the Sunni ISIS.  Our allies seem to want us to fight both ends against the middle.  A formula which will lead us to disaster: we can’t afford more war and our people will not support more war.

Let’s give peace a chance.

The crushing weight of maintaining hundreds of bases around the world which are akin to precinct houses for a world police department is draining us dry and not making us any friends.

Why should we still defend a Europe that has a GDP as large as ours?  Why can’t they defend themselves?  Why can’t South Korea with a GDP more than 40 times that of the North defend themselves?  Some might say all right maybe we shouldn’t still be defending nations that can defend themselves but what about Russia?

Look at this situation.  Russia did not annex Crimea, was a part of Russia for centuries, is the home to the Russian Black Sea fleet and is populated by mostly Russians, until after a western backed coup toppled the democratically elected government of the Ukraine.  If Russia wanted to conquer and absorb all of the Ukraine they could have accomplished that within a few weeks at most.  The Eastern part of the Ukraine, the part that is in revolt against the western imposed government in Kleve is populated by a vast majority of ethnic Russians who have always wanted to be re-united with the motherland.  This is a European problem.  Let the Europeans deal with it. We have enough problems of our own.

Entangling alliances were not a part of the original model for the United States.  From the time of the Founders and for more than 100 years afterward we believed they would involve us in quarrels and rivalries which were really none of our concern.

This was more than a policy.  This was an expression of the American people through their government that did not change no matter which political party occupied the White House.  This expressed how we viewed ourselves in the world.  We contrasted the virtues of our Republic with the corruptions of European power politics and imperialistic overreach. From 1789 until the WWII, except for our relationship with Panama, the United States did not enter into treaties of alliance with anyone. In the 70 years since the end of the war, however, in a dramatic reversal of national policy, we have allied ourselves with:

NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY PARTIES: United States, Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom.  During 2004, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia were added to the list.


PHILIPPINE TREATY (Bilateral) PARTIES: United States, Philippines.

SOUTHEAST ASIA TREATY: PARTIES: United States, Australia, France, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

JAPANESE TREATY (Bilateral): PARTIES: United States, Japan.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA TREATY (Bilateral): PARTIES: United States, Korea.

RIO TREATY PARTIES: United States, Argentina, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Looking at this long list of people we have pledged to support with the blood of our finest and the treasure of us all I ask myself where were all these countries after 9-11?  Where are they now?  And why should we bear the burden of their defense.  Critics of America love to point out that our defense budget is larger than the next five countries combined.  And that is true.  However it is true in large part because we have taken on the burden of their defense.  Look at the people we have pledged to cover with our umbrella.  Try to find one that is spending even 2% of their GDP for their own defense.

Enough is too much already. We are not Atlas.  We cannot carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, and if we are Atlas isn’t it time that we shrugged?

I stand with our George Washington.  He advised us in his Farewell Speech,

Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all….

Nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded…. The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest….

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence…the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republic Government….

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign Nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little Political connection as possible….

‘T is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances, with any portion of the foreign world….

Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies….”

I also stand with Thomas Jefferson who said in his first Inaugural Address, “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.”

What’s to be done?  Can I offer some solutions as well as comment on the problems?

Close the overseas precinct houses.  Bring our troops home.  Stand ever ready to defend ourselves.  Offer fair trade with all; if you put tariffs or restrictions on our goods we will put them on yours.  Defend our borders.  Restore limited government, individual liberty, and economic opportunity at home instead of wasting ourselves building nations for people who want to be left alone.

In other words, jettison the empire to save the Republic.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ © 2015 Contact Dr. Owens Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens



FEMA To Deny Funding To States Without Global Warming Plans

Next year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will start denying disaster funding to states that don’t incorporate global warming into their emergency preparedness plans.

Governors looking for disaster preparedness funding will have to start reporting on how man-made global warming will impact their states such as “more intense storms, frequent heavy precipitation, heat waves, drought, extreme flooding, and higher sea levels,” according to FEMA.

FEMA’s updated guidelines for disaster planning don’t affect federal relief funding for after a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood, but the guidelines essentially force some state governments to acknowledge the alleged risks of man-made warming.

InsideClimate News reports that most states have not updated their disaster planning to include global warming because FEMA’s 2008 policies didn’t have this requirement. Some states, like New York, however, have updated their disaster planning.


Sheriff Joe plea: Rein in Obama ‘power grab’

by Bob Unruh

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, is asking an appeals court in Washington, D.C., to rein in the massive power that would be granted to President Obama and future presidents if a lower court’s decision stands.

The ruling threw out a legal challenge to Obama’s executive-memo driven amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens, despite the fact that amnesty was rejected by Congress and the plan would contradict state law.

Arpaio, represented by attorney Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to step into the case thrown out earlier by Judge Beryl Howell.

Arpaio contends the administration’s claim that “prosecutorial discretion” allows Obama to promise the benefits of citizenship to millions of illegal aliens is wrong.

“What is to stop a future president from simply directing the Internal Revenue Service to stop collecting taxes on capital gains or stop collecting income taxes above a rate lower than set by Congress?” asked a reply brief and request for oral argument filed Monday.

“Indeed, who would have standing to challenge taxes left uncollected from another person? What is to stop a future president from refusing to enforce environmental laws, labor union protections, securities laws, voting rights laws, or civil rights laws, on a claim of prosecutorial discretion?

“May a future president direct the IRS not to collect the penalty supporting Obamacare’s ‘individual mandate,’ producing actuarial collapse?”

“Appellees ask this court to endorse this power grab. Constitutional government in the United States would end in all but name. Any future president may ignore the law claiming ‘prosecutorial discretion’ wholesale.”

The brief contends that the issue is not a “policy dispute” as the government claims.

“The executive branch seeks to raise its own ‘policies’ above congressional statutes. Executive branch policies are not the ‘supreme law of the land’ as congressional enactments are.”

The brief also notes that in a similar case, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen already has issued a preliminary injunction halting Obama’s executive amnesty, because the administration failed to follow the Administrative Procedures Act.

Hanen now has ordered the Obama administration to be in his courtroom later this week to explain why the administration apparently is not abiding by his preliminary injunction.

Arpaio’s case aims for a ruling that the president’s actions are unconstitutional.

He argues that while the power to execute laws, residing in the executive branch, includes the ability to resolve questions, “it does not include unilateral implementation of legislative policies.”

The president must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” and not take executive action to create laws, he points out.

Klayman earlier told the appeals court that, according to the Office of Legal Counsel, Obama didn’t have the authority to order amnesty.

That agency concluded, “The executive cannot, under the guise of exercising enforcement discretion, attempt to effectively rewrite the laws to match its policy preferences.”

“Yet the appellees are doing exactly what OLC warned them not to do. Appellees’ programs are not prosecutorial discretion but rewriting the statutes. Appellees seek to grant amnesty to an estimated 6 million (53 percent) of the estimated 11.3 million illegal aliens that congressional enactments command them to deport,” Klayman has argued.

WND reported earlier when Arpaio said his local government had spent at least $9.2 million extra on detention and other costs because of Obama’s first “deferred action” plan providing some of the benefits of citizenship to illegal aliens.

Arpaio alleges he suffers direct economic harm from the defendants’ executive action amnesty for citizens belonging to a foreign country.

In their case filings, Arpaio and Klayman have argued that some aspects of amnesty already have begun taking effect, and the federal government is preparing to hired thousands of workers to process illegal aliens under amnesty.

The goal of the case at the outset was to obtain a ruling from the Supreme Court on Obama’s strategy to use notes to federal agencies, called executive memoranda, to change the law, rather than going through Congress.

Klayman has contended Obama “cannot end-run Congress based on his own ‘emperor-like’ actions.”

“By his own admission 22 times in the past, Obama lacks the power to take this unconstitutional executive action,” Klayman said. “To allow this to stand would amount to trashing our constitutional republic and set a bad precedent for future presidents.”

He argued the status quo should be maintained until Congress changes the national law.

WND also reported when a federal judge in Pennsylvania declared the amnesty unconstitutional.

“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional,” said U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.

The judge noted Obama “contended that although legislation is the most appropriate course of action to solve the immigration debate, his executive action was necessary because of Congress’ failure to pass legislation, acceptable to him, in this regard.”

“This proposition is arbitrary and does not negate the requirement that the November 20, 2014, executive action be lawfully within the president’s executive authority,” the judge wrote. “It is not.”


New wave of Islamic immigration planned For US

The number of students graduating with STEM degrees already far exceeds the number of STEM jobs available but powerful interests in the business community are pushing Congress to allow more foreign skilled workers into the country.

Congress is considering new immigration laws that would flood the U.S. with “guest workers” from the Middle East and Asia, a plan some are calling an open invitation for jihadists to walk right through America’s front door.

Critics say lawmakers – including top Republican leaders – are playing with fire and could jeopardize national security with the proposals to double or even triple the number of H1B work visas.

The legislation’s potential impact on the American worker has been widely debated on Capitol Hill, with experts warning lawmakers at a Senate subcommittee hearing last week that the plan would eliminate certain technology and IT jobs for Americans. But, so far, little has been said about the risks to national security.

The bills’ proponents in Washington and among Silicon Valley’s technology centers say America is not producing enough university graduates with so-called STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering and math). Their argument, put forth most passionately by presidential contender Jeb Bush, is purely economic. By inducing more foreign STEM students to immigrate to the U.S. and by expanding the visa program for skilled workers, it will fuel growth and bolster the tax base, they say.

But that argument falls flat on critics of the two bills floating in Congress — the so-called I-Squared bill in the Senate and the SKILLS Visa Act in the House.

They point to research from several think tanks that indicates, if anything, the U.S. has a glut of STEM graduates who are coming out of universities and not finding work in STEM fields. And by radically increasing the number of H1B visas issued, the United States will further increase the number of high-risk immigrants entering the country from Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan.

Citizens of Muslim countries already have several paths into the United States – as refugees through the State Department’s refugee resettlement program, as students attending U.S. universities, and as employees of an American company willing to sponsor them on an H1B (temporary) visa or a permanent green card. Once in the country, these immigrants are joined by thousands of their family members.

The H1B visa lasts for three years and can be renewed once for a total of six years. At this point, many H1B workers are able to obtain a permanent green card.

In total, about 100,000 new immigrants come to the United States from Islamic countries every year, according to Steve Camarotta, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies.

Camarotta recently authored a study of the H1B guest-worker program and concluded there is no shortage of STEM workers in America.

“In 2012, there were more than twice as many people with STEM degrees (immigrant and native) as there were STEM jobs — 5.3 million STEM jobs vs. 12.1 million with STEM degrees,” Camarotta said. “Only one-third of natives who have a STEM degree and hold a job do so in a STEM occupation.”

In fact, as Camarotta explains it, the “skilled-labor shortage” argument is little more than a con game waged on Congress and the American public by corporate interests seeking to further their goal of open borders or what they call “labor mobility.”

One of the most impassioned proponents of this strategy is Bush, the former Florida governor.

Bush, in an interview about a year ago with Thane Rosenbaum, said America’s best chance to rejuvenate itself and get back on the path of sustained economic growth lies with increased immigration. He calls for unlimited growth in guest-worker visas and is critical of the “border security first” approach to immigration.

“Border security should be based on the fact that coming here legally should be easier, with less cost and less risk than coming illegally,” Bush said. “And in fact today in America for most people who want to come to our country, coming here illegally is the only way.

“So if you want to have secured borders you also have to have an open legal system where aspiring people can come in. So, ‘security first’ misses that point. You could have greater border security if you had a guest-worker program, where people who can come and work and provide for their families can come and go, work in our fields, work in our hotels, take the jobs no one else wants.”

He also argued for “higher-end type immigration” where H1B visas are “expanded” and “economically driven immigrants can come and go.”

Watch the entire interview in which Jeb Bush makes the argument for open borders and a multi-cultural society.

In the globalist dream world, corporations would shift workers from Bangkok to Birmingham or from Islamabad to Atlanta as easily as they would from New York to Chicago in a borderless, seamless system geared toward labor mobility, multiculturalism, and maximum hedging against wage inflation.

They overlook the fact that immigration is already at historic highs, with a record 41.3 million immigrants now living in the U.S. (both legal and illegal), making up 13.1 percent of all U.S. residents, the highest percentage in 93 years, according to the CIS study. As recently as 1980 that percentage was 6.2 percent. This historic influx has kept a lid on wages for the average American worker, including tech workers. Immigrants are also far less likely to come from Europe now than 40 years ago and more likely to come from Asia and the Middle East, the study found.

If there really was a shortage of “knowledge workers” as the globalists maintain, Camarrota asks how they would explain the fact that real wages for U.S. STEM workers, with the exception of oil-field engineers, have remained stagnant for more than a decade.

Congress paving way for TPP?

Of course that is exactly what the corporate elites want, is to keep wages low for both skilled and unskilled labor. These wage-deflating guest-worker programs are also being built into the TransPacific Partnership trade deal being secretly negotiated by the Obama administration with the support of both Democrat and Republican leaders in Congress.

The so-called labor mobility issue was also a key driver for the implementation of Common Core national education standards, which are more accurately seen as global educational standards supported by UNESCO. If every nation adopts the same basic standards for its schools, it becomes easier for CEOs to transfer what they call “human capital” around the globe.

It is no coincidence that Bush has been the loudest, most unapologetic advocate of Common Core within the Republican Party.

But the emergence of one neglected issue – national security – could be the pig on the parlor that disrupts the globalist agenda.

Since many of the guest workers flooding into U.S. firms and universities would come from countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran, they could test the U.S. government’s ability to screen out potential terrorists in a post-Arab Spring world in which radical Islam is blossoming.

The most troubling issue regarding this legislation, which has not been debated on Capitol Hill, would be to dramatically increase immigration from the Middle East, which is already at historic highs.

‘Irresponsible and insane’

“They call it the I-Squared bill. That’s appropriate to me because I would call it the Irresponsible and Insane bill,” said Jessica Vaughn, director of policy studies with the Center for Immigration Studies. “It’s irresponsible on so many levels, both because of the destructive impact it would have on opportunities for American workers but also for the security risk it would bring.”

Employment-based and student-based immigration is notoriously lax in screening for potential terrorists and terrorist sympathizers, Vaughn said.

Even the U.S. State Department’s refugee resettlement program, which applies the most rigorous screening process of all the immigration programs, has botched dozens of cases over the past few years, accepting “refugees” who later turned out to be terrorists or were providing material support to terrorist organizations.

The FBI announced last month its newest “most wanted terrorist” is a naturalized Somali-American who entered the U.S. as a refugee and worked as a cab driver in the Washington, D.C., area. That was his day job. He spent the bulk of his evenings recruiting for al-Qaida and its affiliate, al-Shabab. The Boston bombers were radical Muslims who entered the U.S. as asylum-seeking refugees from war-torn Chechnya.

Compared to the refugee program, those entering the U.S. through the H1B visa program are only lightly screened.

“We know that the government agencies processing these applications are not equipped and do not make enough of an effort to screen out the risks,” Vaughn said. “And now we’re talking about more than doubling the numbers, so it will be guaranteed to become even more of a rubber-stamping than it already is.”

Republican Senators Orin Hatch of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona are joined by Democrats Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Chris Coons of Delaware and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut in sponsoring the I-Squared bill. On the House side, the SKILLS Visa Act is sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and has more than 22 co-sponsors.

Vaughn said it’s a “myth” that America has a shortage of workers qualified to fill the jobs being created in Silicon Valley, the Research Triangle Park and other tech hotspots.

“That is borne out by a number of studies, and the best evidence of that is the fact that salaries have not been rising in these fields for a number of years,” she said.

The SKILLS Visa Act would increase the annual cap on H1B temporary work visas from 65,000 to 115,000 annually, while also authorizing spouses of visa holders to work and giving a grace period to the visa holder allowing for the change of jobs.

The bill would also set aside 55,000 green cards each year for employers to hire foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

The H1B program was designed to allow foreigners with special skills to fill jobs in the U.S. when there are not enough Americans to fill those jobs. Over time, businesses have found ways to evade its loosely worded restrictions, such as the requirement to first recruit Americans for the jobs and to pay foreign workers the “prevailing rate” of U.S. wages.

One lawmaker who is fighting the effort to expand the program is Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

“People aren’t commodities,” Sessions said at a March 18 Senate subcommittee hearing on the program. “We have no obligation to yield to the demands of big businesses that want cheaper labor.”

In his “Immigration Roadmap,” written for the new Republican Congress, Sessions included a chapter titled “The Silicon Valley STEM Hoax.”

“It is understandable why these corporations push for legislation that will flood the labor market and keep pay low; what is not understandable is why we would ever consider advancing legislation that provides jobs for the citizens of other countries at the expense of our own,” Sessions wrote to lawmakers. “Who do we work for?”

Exploiting loopholes

Ron Hira, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute and a professor of public policy at Howard University, told the Senate panel that the H1B guest-worker program has evolved into a highly profitable business model of bringing in cheaper H1B workers to replace American workers.

In explaining the H1B rules, he said the U.S. Department of Labor clearly states that the hiring of a foreign worker “will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers comparably employed.”

“That’s a direct quote from the website that describes the H1B program to employers. The reality is, that in fact the intent of the law is not being met,” he said. “The recent replacement of 500 American IT workers at Southern California Edison shows that this intent is clearly not being met and that U.S. workers are clearly getting adverse effects in terms of their wages and working conditions.”

Myth No. 1: Employers must prove there are no qualified American workers before hiring an H1B. In fact there are no requirements to demonstrate there is any shortage of American workers before hiring H1B workers, Hira said. “The Southern California Edison story tells you that straight up. Not only are they not recruiting American workers they are directly replacing American workers. They’re taking their jobs directly. They’re even sitting in their cubicles. So there is no recruiting requirement and H1B workers are replacing Americans. And oftentimes employers are earmarking jobs directly for H1B workers.”

Myth No. 2: H1B workers cannot be cheaper than Americans because employers must pay the prevailing wage. “The reality is, they can legally do this because of the way the prevailing wage rules are written. And we see this again in the Southern California Edison case,” Hira said. “The American workers were being paid $110,000 a year. Their H1B replacements are being paid 70,000 a year. That’s more than $40,000 in cost wage savings right there, a $20 million windfall for Southern California Edison, and they are not alone. It’s Disney, it’s Harley Davidson, it’s Xerox, it’s Northeast Utilities.

He said accounting giant Deloitte is now hiring exclusively H1B workers to service the state of California’s unemployment insurance IT system.

Hewlett-Packard is laying off 55,000 workers in the U.S., replacing many of them with lower-cost H1B workers.

Tata and Infosys, the two outsourcing firms used in the SoCal Edison case, brought in 12,000 H1B workers in fiscal year 2013.

“That’s 12,000 jobs that should have gone to Americans or should have stayed with Americans,” Hira said. He said Cargill in Minnesota, Harley Davidson in Wisconsin and Pfizer in Connecticut are all following suit and exploiting the H1B loophole.

In the case of SoCal Edison and Northeast Utilities, the American workers were required to train their foreign replacements as a condition of their severance, Computerworld reported.

“If you create a profitable business model where you can substitute cheaper guest workers for Americans, many businesses will take advantage of that…regardless of what we might think of whether that’s a good thing for America,” Hira said.

“So this is a very widespread and massive problem,” he said. “In fact the Indian government dubs the H1B program ‘the outsourcing visa.’”

Joining Hira on the Senate panel was Professor Hal Salzman of Rutgers University and another expert on the H1B program.

“Based on our analysis we find the preponderance of evidence is fairly clear. That, A, the U.S. supply of top-performing graduates is large and far exceeds the hiring needs of STEM industries with only one of every two STEM graduates finding a STEM job,” he told the panel. “The guest-worker supply is very large and it’s highly concentrated in the IT industry, leading to both stagnant wages and job insecurity.”

Vaughn said the guest-worker program also promotes a downward longterm spiral. The more foreign workers who fall into these tech jobs, the more that get promoted and then prefer to hire more foreign workers over Americans.

‘Green cards for grads’ scams run by colleges

Corruption at U.S. universities is also a problem.

Salzman said guest-worker policies provide incentives for universities to establish masters’ degree programs that “almost exclusively recruit foreign students into lower-quality programs that provide easy entry into the U.S. labor market, fueling the oversupply of entry level STEM workers.”

Salzman said the “green cards for grads” provisions embedded in the I-Squared, SKILLS Act and S.74 bills provide incentives for universities to provide masters programs that function as a sort of global services business, essentially offering a green card for the price of a graduate degree.

Salzman said expanding the guest worker program will only further encourage universities to see foreign students as a cash cow, at the expense of U.S. students.

“This will eventually lead state universities to close their doors to American students, just as the California state university system did when it recently declared its graduate programs were closed to state residents,” he said. “In order to increase revenues it favored admissions to foreign students, which now make up 90 percent or more of some graduate programs.”

Vaughn said it is the same members of Congress who back the guest-worker legislation every year.

“This is one of those perennial immigration expansion proposals that certain members of Congress keep bringing up,” Vaughn told WND. “We have employers that want to have unlimited ability to bypass American workers and drive down wages overall.”

Vaughn said there was a time, in the 1990s and the height of Y2K fears, when there was a legitimate shortage of skilled tech workers.

“My husband, who works in the tech industry, was able to shift jobs often and each time he got a substantial pay increase. That is not happening now,” she said. “Employers are finding ways to exploit the guest-worker laws already on the books and students are getting discouraged because they don’t see any good employment options. Universities are among the worst violators of exploiting low-wage foreign workers, sometimes using them to work on government grants. That’s sort of an open secret in academia and the nonprofit world.”

The system is also rife with fraud, she said. Up to 20 percent of the H1B system is marred by fraud, whether it be the integrity of the companies doing the hiring or questionable foreign elements being allowed into the country. “They’ve even found fake companies getting approved as H1B employers,” Vaughn said.

“And there’s nothing special about these workers,” she added. “What we’ve found is these companies classify them as entry-level employees and trainees and so they’re able to pay them much lower wages even though they are quite skilled at writing code and other skills. They’re doing it by pretending these are new workers for the purpose of pay, then turning around and telling Congress they need these workers because Americans don’t have the advanced skills they need. So now it’s a major pipeline that has been established to replace American workers, who can do this work and have been doing it. It’s a complete charade.”

Importing terrorists ‘with tech skills’

Washington policy makers like to argue that tech workers make unlikely terrorists. The argument seemed plausible. That was before ISIS. It has been proven that some of the world’s most notorious terrorists are highly educated. That was underscored by the recent identification of the infamous “Jihadi John,” who turned out to be a man from Britain in his late 20s with a computer science degree. He joined ISIS and became its most well-known terrorist, seen on many propaganda videos slicing off the heads of helpless Westerners. Scores of other ISIS terrorists use social media and specialized software programs to recruit new members while still others have demonstrated the special skill of hacking Western computer systems.

“People can come in on basis of their degree and then have a completely different goal when they get here,” Vaughn said. “These (H1B) visas give you six years in the country.”

Another problem not discussed at this week’s Senate committee hearings is that of espionage – both government and corporate.

“The Chinese have taken this to an art form,” Vaughn said. “They work on government contracts, technological development for the private sector, sensitive work, and it is then that proprietary information is stolen for the Chinese government or Chinese companies.”

Vaughn said the government has cut back on fraud assessment in recent years.

“So we have no idea how much fraud is going on because fraud assessment is simply not a priority for this administration. It’s not just the type of fraud where, OK, we’re going to lie about the qualifications of this person we want to bring in so we can pay him less, but it’s also completely fictitious companies.”

So if the existing system encounters a doubling or tripling of H1B applicants without a comparable increase in screeners, the amount of fraud slipping by the government can only be expected to increase exponentially, she said.

“There are plenty of legit applicants and when there are so many the chances of fraud just skyrockets,” Vaughn said. “So they’ve got to clean up the program first before they can talk about expanding it.”


ATF Director Resigns Amid Controversy Over Backdoor Ammo Ban


by Chuck Ross
The director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives resigned suddenly on Friday while the agency is still reeling from its failed “backdoor ammo ban” of the popular 5.56 M855 bullet.

It is unclear if B. Todd Jones’ departure is at all related to that proposed ban. A statement released by the agency only said that he will resign effective March 31 to pursue opportunities in the private sector. ABC News reported that Jones will take a job in New York City, possibly with a professional sports league.

Whatever the reason for his departure, the 57-year-old Jones leaves the agency on a sour note after the ban attempt.

With backing from the Obama administration, ATF sought to prohibit the sale of the M855 — the so-called “green tip” — out of fear that they pose a risk to police officers since they can pierce bullet-proof vests. Green tips were approved by the ATF in 1986, and have become more popular for use in AR-15 pistols.

The agency offered a comment period from the public, but did not advertise the proposal.

Gun rights groups such as the National Rifle Association and numerous lawmakers pushed back heavily on what was characterized as a “backdoor ammo ban.”

That outcry forced ATF to temporarily table the idea.

But Jones did little to assuage those groups’ fears after the ban was shelved. Last week he told the Senate Appropriations Committee that all 5.56 rounds pose “a challenge for officer safety.”

That statement was interpreted by many as an indication that the Obama administration has plans to ban more than just the M855.

Jones has served as director of the agency since July 31, 2013. He was nominated by President Obama in January of that year after serving as acting director since August 2011.

“ATF employees are hard-working, dedicated individuals who serve the public to make our nation safer every day,” he said in a statement. “I have seen firsthand their extraordinary commitment to combatting violent crime, ridding the streets of criminals, and leveraging all available resources to keep our communities safe.”

Jones will be replaced by current ATF deputy director Thomas Brandon. He’s been with the agency since October 2011.

“Throughout his tenure as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Todd Jones has cemented his reputation as an exemplary leader, a consummate professional, and an outstanding public servant,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

Holder also said that Jones “has made bold changes, advanced forward-looking policies, and taken innovative steps to strengthen ATF’s investigative capabilities—including ballistic imaging technology that recently played a critical role in the investigation of the shooting of two police officers.”

Soros fights constitutional fix to limit Obama, Congress

Posted by Paul Bedard

A nationwide drive by mostly conservative states to throttle President Obama and Washington’s grab for more power and taxes is running into an odd left-right combo of opposition: Liberal financier George Soros and the conservative John Birch Society.

Documents provided to Secrets show that the Soros-backed Montana Budget and Policy Center recently urged the state’s lawmakers to reject the so-called “convention of states” pushed by advocates such as radio talk show host Mark Levin as a way to pass constitutional amendments limiting the power of the federal government and especially the Supreme Court.

In an email to lawmakers, the liberal group called on supportive Montana lawmakers to “direct your questions” to the John Birch Society, which believes a states convention, provided in Article V of the Constitution, won’t stop Washington from expanding its power and taxing authority.

The opposition effort succeeded last month when the Montana House rejected a convention.

Already facing liberals who fear that a convention would trim spending on their causes, the proponent conservative group Convention of States is also facing an unusual Soros partner in the John Birch Society, which believes the answer to Washington is to cut spending and the bureaucracy.

“Until the massive bureaucracy that is part of the federal government is curtailed, downsized or eliminated, federal officials will find a way around the Constitution no matter what amendments are ratified,” the group said. Groups like Birch oppose the convention out of concerns that the conservatives running it will go too far to limit government powers and fear that the public isn’t smart enough on the Constitution to change it.

But that opposition is being forcefully rebutted by Michael Farris, director of the Convention of States project for Citizens for Self-Governance. In a 23-page memo, he argued that simply trying to choke Washington’s power by sending more conservatives to Congress won’t work.

“Trying harder with the same old tactics won’t work,” he wrote.

So far, 23 states have endorsed the convention but 38 are needed before one is called.

Levin, Farris and other supporters are focusing on the power the U.S. Supreme Court has in interpreting the Constitution and claim that decisions like a recent one endorsing much of Obamacare violated the document.

Click here to read the original article in the Washington Examiner.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at