Bill Gates is at it again

What is it with the super wealthy in this country?  They make their billions in this country and instead of just retiring and disappearing, they keep pushing economic policies that continue to run the middle class into the ground?  And they continue to do this even though the economy is going into the tank.

Bill was up in Canada spreading the “technology worker shortage myth” claiming that poor Microsoft, the alleged victim of the “strict government H-1B policy” cannot hire enough technology workers in the U.S.  This is his big lie that he continually repeats. 

If hiring talent was a problem for Microsoft, I would probably be working there right now, instead of working temporary contract jobs with weak benefits and no hope of being able to save for retirement.  If Microsoft has a problem hiring talent, it is due to the age discrimination that they practice, along with all the other big corporations based here in Washington State (and across the country).  Also, they need to fix the way that they deal with contractors.  They hire thousands of contractors, which make up most of their workforce now days.  The contractors also have a limit of 1 year on the job, after which they are forced to leave Microsoft and seek employment elsewhere.  If Microsoft was really having trouble hiring, they would put a stop to this practice as well.

Also, if the talent is abroad and not here, why doesn’t Microsoft just move its headquarters out of this country?  I’ll tell you why.  The United States has become a tax haven for big business.  Don’t let the advertised corporate tax rate fool you.  With all the loop holes that have been systematically worked into the tax laws, and the neutering of the IRS where it can no longer enforce these laws, corporations can limit their tax to a negligible amount, or to nothing.  On top of that, they get tax breaks/payoffs from the U.S. government at the taxpayers expense (because the government is still under control of the “trickle down voodoo economics” crowd).

What it boils down to is this: Microsoft stays in the U.S. for the huge tax incentives, and yet still wants the cheep labor from abroad, all because the name of the game today is to get nothing short of record profits and more money for the super wealthy.  It’s that simple.

Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007

Here is a real non-answer email from one of my “centrist” senators – Patty Murray. It also kind of disgusts me lately on how they use your address to punch in your city into the last line of their emails: “I hope all is well in [insert city here]”. If she really hoped that I was doing well, she wouldn’t be pushing for all the stuff that she does that makes me “not well” in Snohomish.

Thank you for writing to me regarding S. 1959, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. It is good to hear from you.

As you know, S. 1959, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, was introduced by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) on August 2, 2007. S. 1959 would establish a National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism to examine the root causes of radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States and ways to prevent it. S. 1959 would also create a university-based Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States. It would also require the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that research efforts do not violate individuals’ constitutional rights or civil liberties.

S. 1959 was referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, of which I am not a member. An identical bill, H.R. 1955, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA) on April 19, 2007 and passed the House on a 404-6 vote on October 23, 2007.

Should either S. 1959 or H.R. 1955 come before the full Senate, please know that I will keep your views on this issue in mind. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates. Thank you again for writing, and please keep in touch.

I hope all is well in Snohomish.

Washington State Caucus, Primary? It matters which one (or both) you do!

There is confusion in Washington State over what is different between the Caucus and the Primary, and which you should care about.  It is also different according to which Party you subscribe.

The short of it is:
If you are a Republican, both the Primary and the Caucus are important.
If you are a Democrat, ONLY THE CAUCUS is important as far as choosing delegates for your candidate of choice.

Since this year Washington State has both a Caucus and a Primary, the Parties have a choice of whether to select their delegates during the Primary, during the Caucus, or in some combination of the two.

The Democratic Party is choosing all of their delegates during the Caucus.  This means that voting for a Democratic candidate on the Primary ballot accomplishes absolutely nothing.  So, the message to Democrats is loud and clear: GO TO THE CAUCUS.  However, do not completely ignore the Primary, because there are some local issues on the ballot where your vote does count.

The Republican Party is splitting there delegates between the Primary and the Caucus.  51% of their delegates will be chosen via the Primary, while 49% will be chosen at the Caucus.  The message to Republicans is to DO BOTH.  Going to the Caucus counts and voting for a Republican candidate on the Primary ballot counts.

The message that I would like to share with everyone is to Please Participate.  It is more important now than ever to get involved in the political process.  Share your concerns with others and get intelligent dialogues going.  It is truly the heart of our democracy.

Fox News Porn

Fox News Porn

Everyone with half a brain knows that Fox News is a joke.  I can’t stand to watch Fox News, and I just cringe when I am waiting at the doctor’s office, or some other public place, and they have a TV tuned to cable Fox News.  However, I stumbled upon this site: Fox News Porn, where they had gathered all the risqué clips that were broadcast over Fox News and condensed them into YouTube sized videos.  Although it is material that was broadcast on national TV, the site and their videos have been banned by Digg, and their clips on YouTube were forced to be 18+ age verified.  Be sure to check out the videos posted on the site.  I couldn’t stop laughing. 

As Chrish put it at News Hounds: “FOX News uses sex segments to divert outrage from the real obscenity, the war”.

No one talks about the real root problem of our economy

Great article! It is written by a conservative, but it makes some very important points. Sure it’s nice that the candidates talk about health care and other social issues. But it will be impossible to fix those issues because this globalist “Free [for the corporations] Trade” agenda pulls the rug out from under our economy. A big part of the problem is the VISA program that brings in cheap foreign labor. Another big part are the “Free Trade Agreements” that give away big chunks of our economy to foreign and international corporations.

read more | digg story

Episode 28 – A Funny Skit, Christmas, and Praying to the Visa God

Outsourced Santa

This episode opens with a skit with the help of Bill from The Florida Soapbox podcast.  Bill also has a new podcast titled The World News Review which will be coming out in January.

Next, I discuss the Christmas resolution that passed in congress and my full support for Jim McDermott who voted against it, in which I am in complete disagreement with Lou Dobbs and Ken Schram who I feel completely missed the point as to why to vote no on this Republican resolution.

Indians are now praying to the Visa God for, not entrance into heaven, but entrance into the United States in order to take an American Worker’s job.

 Amazon.com is moving its headquarters from Seattle to … Seattle.

Congressman Tom Cole is offering The Progressive Geek the Congressional Order of Merit…

…or so says Shelly Burroughs in a voicemail left at my home today.  Of course, being The Progressive Geek, with my intense distrust of our anti-American dysfunctional government, the first thing I did was to search the Internet for more information on this “highest honor” (as described in the voicemail) that supposedly congress thought I deserved.  Almost instantly, I discovered that this so-called honor is a scam by Tom Cole and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).  It appears from my search on the web that hundreds, or more probably thousands of people are approached with this award for the purpose of collecting contributions and adding people to an “advisory committee” where you are forced to endure listening to a recording of Republican drivel regarding their agenda to stop Nancy Pelosi and those “bad liberals” from ruining small businesses.  The price for this fake honor is several hundred dollars, paid to the NRCC.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have no love for Nancy Pelosi and many of the Democrats who gave so many promises in 2006 and failed so miserably to keep any of them.  My back is still bleeding from all the stab wounds.  I am also much more concerned over how the Democrats are out to ruin American jobs, particularly hi-tech jobs, than over what they might do to “small businesses”.  What I find so insulting is how Cole and the NRCC have stooped to an incredible low in trying to scam the Americans into forking over money to the Republican Party.

All I can say is: this should tell you what the Republican Party thinks of us American Citizens.  They must think that we all believe that we won the International Lottery and that we have a million dollars coming from a business deal in Nigeria.

Video Episode 2 – Front Yard Flood

Heavy rain and snow caused major flooding in Washington State. Flood waters filled many of the local creeks and rivers. Woodinville, which is south of me, had major streets flooded out. I spent the day at home since my bridge in my driveway washed out.
Governor Gregoire declared a State Of Emergency, which is good, because it may mean that I can get some assistance with the damage that occured.

My Letter to Karen Lee (Executive Cabinet Member over the Employment Security Department of Washington State)

In response to Governor Gregoire’s empty letter after she had promised me a “good job with a good employer” at the Town Hall meeting, I wrote this letter to Karen Lee, who is the person that Gregoire said could get me that job.  I also sent a copy of the letter to Chris Gregoire.  I sent both copies by certified mail to ensure that these letters don’t somehow become “lost”.  Stay tuned, I’ll let you know what, if any, response I get.

The body of the letter is posted here:

Dear Karen Lee

I had attended Governor Chris Gregoire’s Town Hall meeting in Seattle on October 3rd where I had expressed my concern over her support for increases in the H-1B non-immigrant VISA cap.  At this Town Hall meeting, Chris Gregoire told me that with my education and experience, I “ought to be working for a good company, with a good salary, and with good benefits” here in Washington state.  She also said that you, Karen, can get me this job.  I look forward to working with you on this endeavor, because I have found that the traditional method of sending a resume to a potential employer (that is not one of these body shop companies, such as Volt or Siemens) just doesn’t work anymore.  Attached is a copy of my résumé for your reference.

I tried to explain to Chris Gregoire that due to the current levels that corporations are already allowed in bringing in STEM workers from other countries, I am finding it very difficult to be placed in a full-time permanent job that includes benefits such as medical, vacation, and sick time.  This is in spite of the fact that I have a four year degree in computer science (BSCS), have over 20 years experience in information technology, have Microsoft certifications, and recently earned Master of Information Systems Management from a school here in Washington.  The only jobs that I have been getting are W2 contract jobs through these body shop companies that have become so prevalent in our state in recent years.

Currently, I am working at a medical technology company in Seattle indirectly through one of these W2 contract companies.  I work on software for a cutting edge technology device that is used in assisting Radiation Therapists in locating tumors during radiation treatment.  Yet, I do not get any sick time for myself or for attending to sick family members.  This was especially trying this year since my wife had come down with thyroid cancer and ended up spending over 2 weeks in the hospital along with several trips to the emergency room for calcium infusions.  Not only do I end up with medical bills to pay, I end up with lost wages from time that I was not able to work.

Again, I look forward to working with you Karen.  Chris Gregoire seemed confident that you can screen out all the fraudulent job ads and find me one of those good jobs at a good company, with a good salary and good benefits that she says are so abundant in our state.

Response from Governor Christine O. Gregoire

Well, a response from her staff anyway. 

Earlier in October, I went to the Seattle Town Hall meeting to question Gregoire about her role in the letter signed by 13 governors to the U.S. congress calling for the H-1B cap to be raised.  Among the things that she promised was a job “with a good employer, good salary, and good benefits” in the state of Washington.  One of her staff had me fill out a card describing my issue and providing my contact information.  What I got in response was a letter.

STATE OF WASHINGTON
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
www.governor.wa.gov

Dear Rennie:

Thank you for attending the Town Hall meeting in Seattle.  Governor Gregoire appreciates the time you have taken to share your views on not increasing the number of H-1B visas granted to foreign workers, and she is pleased to have the opportunity to work on behalf of the people of Washington.

Views and comments such as yours give the Governor and her staff valuable insights into the important issues facing people in communities around our state.  We rely on the messages we receive to let us know where we must focus our priorities.  The Governor has made your comments available to her Executive Policy Advisors, who will consider them as the Governor works to move Washington forward.

The Governor also encourages you to share your views and specific suggestions with your state legislators given their role in proposing and passing state laws.  The toll-free Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 offers a convenient way to contact your state Senator and Representatives.

Again, thanks for taking the time to attend the Town Hall.  The continued involvement of citizens like you is critical to our state’s success.

Sincerely,

Gary Fugere
Constituent Services Manager
Christine O. Gregoire
Governor