Category Archives: podcast

Video Episode 1 – Pro H-1B Governor Chris Gregoire ignores plight of U.S. Technology Wokers

In front of Town Hall speaking with other activists

Chris Gregoire, at one of her Town Hall meetings in downtown Seattle, was challenged on the fact that she and 12 other governors signed a letter urging congress to pass legislation to raise the H-1B cap.  Her response consisted of talking points that Bill Gates uses in his quest for cheap labor, namely that there is a severe hi-tech worker shortage in Washington State.  Yet, a recent Duke University study shows that this is nothing more than a manufactured myth.  This myth is constistently used when the corporate elite communicate their desire to congress for bringing more foreign tech workers into the U.S.  More and more, U.S. corporations hire employees as contractors, or “Temps”, with limited terms in their contracts, instead of as full time permanent employees.  Of course, the employee benefits for Temps, if any, are not nearly as good as for full time employees.  Most of these temp positions (including the one that I am working in now) do not have any provisions for sick time.  Some may provide holiday pay only after several months of service.  Of course Temps are easily interchangeable with foreign workers that are here on H-1B and L-1 VISAs.

Gregoire also proudly points out that the current unemployment rate in Washington State is the lowest in state history.  Yet what does this really mean given that the quality of jobs has declined considerably?

Episode 26 – DLC is a bad 3-letter word

The Progressive Geek responds to listener questions regarding the Democratic Presidential Candidates’ support for H-1B and L-1 VISA programs.

Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate who really understands the plight of the middle class and has proposals on how to correct the direction that this country is taking.

ABC News keeps taking down a poll that shows Kucinich is the clear winner of the Democratic Debate.

Kucinich’s take on the VISA programs:

H-1B and L-1 Visas
Submitted by on Thu, 2006-11-16 12:26. H-1B and L-1 Visas | Issue Overview

The expanded use of H-1B and L-1 visas has had a negative effect on the workplace of Information Technology workers in America. It has caused a reduction in wages. It has forced workers to accept deteriorating working conditions and allowed U.S. companies to concentrate work in technical and geographic areas that American workers consider undesirable. It has also reduced the number of IT jobs held by Americans.

At its peak in 2000, there were 10.5 million people working in Information Technology in the United States. By 2001, there were fewer than 10 million — despite continued global growth in Information Technology employment. Professor Norman Matloff of UC Davis estimates that in the spring of 2003 there were 500,000 unemployed and underemployed U.S. programmers, while there were 463,000 H-1B workers employed in the field.

The government must ensure adequate funds for the enforcement of visa regulations — including much-ignored regulations prohibiting the use of foreign nationals in critical infrastructure. A special investigator should be appointed to examine the extent and nature of H-1B and L-1 visa fraud and the reasons for heavy use of H-1B and L-1 visas at Enron, WorldCom, and Anderson. We should take seriously the allegations of perjury by corporate leaders who have testified before Congress to request expansion of this program in 1998 and 2000, as well as allegations of the use of the H-1B and L-1 programs in corrupt organizations.

We need an industry fact-finding commission, including representatives of major U.S. investors, U.S. tech workers, and business leaders who have been competitive in the international marketplace without use of the H-1B / L-1 program. These representatives can make suggestions as to a new policy on the immigration of people with specialized knowledge or unique skills.

I have already set forth plans for major technical initiatives in the areas of renewable energy, pollution control, and promotions of Open Source software and media — additional major initiatives will be considered — creating a wider diversity of means by which technologists are funded outside of the service of major corporations. It may not be possible to undo the damage that corporate short-sightedness has done to the U.S. technical community — but it is possible to give a real voice to the vision that the U.S. technical community has for a better America.

Episode 25 – Halo 2 for the PC / Google can’t find enough people on the planet to hire / My wife’s battle with thyroid cancer

Microsoft tries to improve Windows Vista sales by making Halo 2 for the PC run only on Vista and not on Windows XP.

EFF (Electronic Fontier Foundation) needs your help in combing through released FBI documents.

Federal Express wants to ship your company to India.

Google can’t find enough people on the planet to hire. Unfortunately for Google, they didn’t find any intelligent life on Mars.

My wife was diagnosed with thyroid cancer a few weeks ago. She had her thyroid removed. Now she is having trouble with hypocalceamia.

Episode 24 – How To Hire Cheap Foreign Workers – A Lawyer’s Guide

Lawrence Lebowitz, director of marketing for the Pittsburgh law firm Cohen & Grigsby is shown in a YouTube video in a seminar to their corporate clients describng how to beat the H-1B system to hire cheap foreign labor instead of American Citizens. This video has created quite a backlash from American technology workers and from some congressmen. The Programmers Guild created their own video which includes clips from the seminar.

Articles on the subject:
How To Hire Cheap Foreign Workers – A Lawyer’s Guide – On YouTube Now
More articles

Also in this episode: Why you must not support the comprehensive immigration bill.

Pulse on MySpace

Please leave a review for me at iTunes.

Episode 23: What the hell is TAA and why is the Ways and Means Committee talking about it?

What is TAA? TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) is a band-aid that is meant to compensate for the awful free trade policies that the United States has been pursuing.
This episode contains clips from the hearing held by the House Ways and Means Committee (also known as the Ways to be Mean Committee).

Listen to this episode for clips fom the hearing and exclusive commentary by the Progressive Geek.

Music by Terra Naomi

Correction: I said Carl Levin in this episode when it is actually Sandy Levin.

Episode 22: It’s not easy being over 30

Men in 30s earn less than dads did

Sinister Reasons for Boosting H1b Visa Limits?

H-1B FEDERAL IMMIGRATION BILL: Reforms to the work visa program are a small part of the overall debate — except in Silicon Valley;
Everyone agrees it’s flawed, but how to fix it?

Music by Alana Sweetwater

Episode 21 – Not So Free Speech Radio News / Possessed by a spirit from the Netherworld

The Not-So-Free Speech Radio News
My body is possessed by a spirit from the Netherworld.

Post production note
I just listened to the FSRN story. It finally came out today (Friday).
I ran it by the Programmers Guild and they pointed out several technical errors in the story. The general reaction is that it has an “open border” slant to it.

What I thought was still good about the story is that it did at least have one engineer similar to me. He has 20 years experience and has only been able to find contract work. Which validated what I was experiencing. However, I think they tried to “balance it” by adding free trade points of view.

Democrats continue to stab Americans in the back.

David Sirota’s blog entry “We Gave Them Our Hearts, They Gave Him A Blank Check”

WashTech buys an ad in “Roll Call” fighting H-1B increases.

Thom Hartmann talks about “Free Trade”

Free Speech Radio News:

Episode 20 Addendum

The White House now says the secret trade deal between a handful of Democratic congressional leaders and Bush administration officials will most likely not mean adding labor and environmental standards into the core text of trade agreements, but instead will mean merely unenforceable NAFTA-esque “side agreements” or even weaker “letters” of understanding. A group of House Democrats is responding to the secret deal by demanding a hearing on a resolution that would prevent Democratic leaders from bringing fast track to the floor of the House if a majority of Democrats oppose it. And the pundit attack machine pushing the deal is out in full force. “Journalists” Cokie and Steve Roberts say “Democrats can’t afford to listen to the labor movement” and Clinton administration free trade architect Gene Sperling praises Democratic dealmakers for triangulating against their own party. – David Sirota

Numbers USA

Episode 20 – Democratic Leaders Betraying American Workers

Democratic leadership and the Bush administration have been secretly working on a “free-for-the-corporations” trade deal that is sure to hurt the American middle class.



Badong (music):