Category Archives: Employment/Jobs

America Is On The Same Glide Path As The Fatal Germanwings Flight

America Is On The Same Glide Path As The Fatal Germanwings Flight

Germanwing airplane plane

The pilot was locked out of the cockpit. That phrase finally revealed the full horror of the crash of Germanwings flight 9525.

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz waited for the pilot to leave the cockpit then locked the door to prevent his re-entry. After which Lubitz, for reasons unknown and perhaps unknowable, deliberately steered the jet into a harrowing 8-minute plunge, ending in an explosive 434 mph impact with a rocky mountainside. One hundred fifty men, women and children met an immediate, unthinkably violent death.

Lubitz, in his single-minded madness, couldn’t be stopped because anyone who could change the jet’s disastrous course was locked out.

It’s hard to imagine the growing feelings of fear and helplessness that the passengers felt as the unforgiving landscape rushed up to meet them. Hard, but not impossible.

ISIS Tweet: We Are Coming to America
ISIS Tweet: We Are Coming to America

America is in very deep trouble and we feel the descent in the pits of our stomachs. We hear the shake and rattle of structures stressed beyond their limits. We don’t know where we’re going anymore, but do know it isn’t good. And above all, we feel helpless because Barack Obama has locked us out.

He locked the American people out of his decision to seize the national healthcare system.

He locked us out when we wanted to know why the IRS was attacking conservatives.

He locked us out of having a say in his decision to tear up our immigration laws and to give over a trillion dollars in benefits to those who broke those laws.

Obama locked out those who advised against premature troop withdrawals. He locked out the intelligence agencies who issued warnings about the growing threat of ISIS.

He locked out anyone who could have interfered with his release of five Taliban terror chiefs in return for one U.S. Military deserter.

And, of course, Barack Obama has now locked out Congress, the American people, and our allies as he strikes a secret deal with Iran to determine the timeline (not prevention) of their acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Was Andreas Lubitz depressed, insane, or abysmally evil when he decided to lock that cockpit door and listen to no voices other than those in his head? Did he somehow believe himself to be doing the right thing? The voice recordings from the doomed aircraft reveal that as the jet began its rapid descent, the passengers were quiet. There was probably some nervous laughter, confusion, a bit of comforting chatter with seat mates, followed by a brief period in which anxiety had not yet metastasized into terror. It was only near the end of the 8-minute plunge that everyone finally understood what was really happening. Only near the end when they began to scream.

Like those passengers, a growing number of Americans feel a helpless dread as they come to the inescapable conclusion that our nation’s decline is an act of choice rather than of chance.

The choice of one man who is in full control of our 8-year plunge. I wonder when America will begin to scream.

Dr. RICHARD S. WELLS

Robots Can Mix You a Drink. But Will They Listen to Your Problems?

Robots Can Mix You a Drink. But Will They Listen to Your Problems?

By TIMOTHY AEPPEL

The Makr Shakr, a bartending robot, is the creation of an Italian company and consists of robotic arms that mix cocktails, then place them on a conveyor belt to be carried across the bar to the waiting customer or a server.

Robots aren’t about to elbow bartenders out of a job.

But versions of them could start showing up at your favorite watering holes. Indeed,some are already out there.

The Makr Shakr is the creation of an Italian company and consists of robotic arms that mix cocktails, and then place them on a conveyor belt to be carried across the bar to the waiting customer or a server. The first two installations are on Royal Caribbean cruise ships, where they’re the centerpieces of “Bionic Bars.”

The goal isn’t to do away with bartenders, who are still needed to tend the machines and, when necessary, deliver the drinks. Carlo Ratti, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and cofounder of Makr Shakr, says the project began when he was asked to design a machine that would allow people to interact with robots in an unexpected setting. “It started as something to shock people in a tangible way,” he says, to show them “what the third industrial revolution is all about.”

Another example is the “Bartendro,” a box with hoses and flashing lights that can mix an array of drinks—but it too needs to be tended by a human, who among other things puts the glass into position under the pour spout and then delivers the drink to the customer.

Machines like these are designed to work alongside humans, not replace them.

But just because something can be automated doesn’t mean it should be. At Tryst, a Denver bar that bought one of the $2,500 Bartendros through a Kickstarter campaign last year, the verdict is clear: It’s an oddity people quickly lost interest in after a few months. “Visually, it’s eye-catching,” said human bartender Richie Hadley. “But on a busy night, will we use it? Not at all, unless someone asks about it.”

Another machine is aimed at the self-service and home market. The Monsieur was created by a team of engineers from Georgia Tech after a frustrating night watching basketball finals in a crowded restaurant. “It wasn’t until halftime that we got our first drink,” says Donald Beamer, the company president. “As engineers, we saw there was a problem.” Automation speeds up assembly lines, so why not use it to accelerate cocktail making?

Mr. Beamer’s device comes in two versions—a table-top model that sells for just under $4,000 and a $10,000 kiosk that looks like a Coke machine. The kiosk has a cup dispenser and ice reservoir. The idea is to “offer self-service” in places that might not otherwise have a bar, he says.

Still, MIT professor Scott Stern, who studies the diffusion of new technology, is among those who doubt bartending machines have a big future. “When I’m in a different city, having a drink of wine at a bar, I don’t want to talk to a robot,” he says.

But while bartending jobs may be safe, many others are at risk.  Even some technology entrepreneurs like Bill Gates are worried about what a surge of automation could mean for the future of work. Those worries have been magnified by the slow recovery of the job market after the last recession.

Record 51 million immigrants in 8 years, will account for 82% of U.S. growth

Record 51 million immigrants in 8 years, will account for 82% of U.S. growth

BY PAUL BEDARD

Border Patrol moving illegal immigrants
Border Patrol moving illegal immigrants

Legal and illegal immigrants will hit a record high of 51 million in just eight years and eventually account for an astounding 82 percent of all population growth in America, according to new U.S. Census figures.

A report from the Center for Immigration Studies that analyzed the statistics said that by 2023, one in seven U.S. residents will be an immigrant, rising to one in five by 2060 when the immigrant population totals 78 million.

The report was provided to Secrets and released Wednesday evening.

RELATED: The killer question of immigration reform

The surge in immigrant population, both legal and illegal, threatens to slam into the presidential campaign as GOP candidates move to figure out what their position is and the president tries to use executive powers to exempt some 5 million illegals from deportation.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker disrupted the debate this week when he said that legal immigration also needs to be reformed to make sure Americans don’t suffer by losing jobs to new citizens.

But even more, the CIS report said that the surge in mostly legal immigrants will have a huge impact on the nation and taxpayers.

RELATED: Poll: No, Obama didn’t have the authority to grant amnesty

“These numbers have important implications for workers, schools, infrastructure, congestion and the environment,” said Steven Camarota, the center’s director of research. “They also may have implications for our ability to successfully assimilate and integrate immigrants. Yet there has been almost no national debate about bringing in so many people legally each year, which is the primary factor driving these numbers.”

Those numbers are likely to shake up Washington’s political debate over the 12 million illegals in America, the expected 70,000 expected to pour over the border this year and the 4.4 million legal immigrants on a State Department waiting list who have relatives or jobs in the U.S.

A key senator steering the immigration debate, Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions, has warned that higher numbers of immigrants will hurt the middle class.

In a letter to the New York Times Saturday, he wrote, “It defies reason to argue that the record admission of new foreign workers has no negative effect on the wages of American workers, including the wages of past immigrants hoping to climb into the middle class. Why would many of the largest business groups in the United States spend millions lobbying for the admission of more foreign workers if such policies did not cut labor costs?”

RELATED: Obama is losing his greatest asset in immigration push

On Friday, key business leaders including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a group associated with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plan to pitch for more immigration. Their schedule is below.

The numbers, as seen in the highlights below, will also raise concerns that Washington is giving the keys to the nation to new immigrants:

• The immigrant population will grow four times faster than the native born population, reaching 15.8 percent, or 57 million, of the nation’s population in 2030, 17.1 percent, or 65 million, in 2040, and 18.8 percent, or 78 million, in 2060.

• Net immigration this year will be 1.24 million; green cards about 1.1 million.

• Immigrants and their descendants “will account for the overwhelming share of population growth,” said the Center in projecting growth. They will account for 75.5 percent from 2010-2050 and 82 percent from 2010-2060.

• Census Bureau projects that in 2023 the nation’s immigrant population, legal and illegal, will reach 14.8 percent of the total U.S. population, the highest share ever recorded.

RELATED: Expert: Obama’s amnesty ‘profoundly unfair’ to 4 million legal immigrants, a new high

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted atpbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.

Homeland Security steps up screening of aviation employees

Homeland Security steps up screening of aviation employees

By KATHRYN A. WOLFE

A TSA agent is shown. | Getty

The Department of Homeland Security tightened screening requirements for airport and airline employees today, following a three-month review triggered by allegations of gun-smuggling by airline employees last year.

The changes mean that all airport and airline employees traveling as passengers will have to go through TSA security screening. Aviation workers will also have to submit to a “fingerprint-based criminal history records check” every two years, until TSA can create a real-time system for criminal background checks.

In addition, airports will have to reduce the number of ways to access secure areas to an “operational minimum.” Aviation employees will also be screened more often, including randomly throughout the workday.

Two Senate Democrats were quick to praise the action. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the new steps a “prompt response and a significant first step,” but also said “more is needed.”

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the top ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee that oversees the TSA, said it’s a “decent first step. But we need to continue to look at the long-term picture and see how we can broaden this in a cost-effective way.”

This additional screening won’t be “100 percent physical,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement, because it would “not completely eliminate potential risks, but would divert critical resources from other critical security functions to mitigate other risks.”

In the gun-smuggling case, authorities said four men including a Delta Air Lines baggage handler were able to smuggle guns from Atlanta to New York on board airplanes, including getting the guns through security. One of the defendants was traveling using the “Buddy Pass” privileges of his mother, a retired Delta gate agent, ABC News reported at the time.

39,000 illegal immigrant kids coming to U.S.

39,000 illegal immigrant kids coming to U.S.

By VÍCTOR MANUEL RAMOS  victor.ramos@newsday.com

border illegal immigration immigrants children crossing

Many of the children coming from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala likely will be resettled where there are established Central American communities, such as Long Island’s Nassau and Suffolk counties, said Marc Rosenblum, the report’s author.

“They are coming from similar communities and are headed to similar communities,” said Rosenblum, deputy director of the institute’s U.S. Immigration Policy Program. “The local impact is that whatever challenges school districts and local health care systems are under already are likely to increase.”

The second wave of immigrants, as some are calling it, is expected even as localities and school systems struggle to absorb about 53,500 children who arrived in the last fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, 2014. Those minors continue to move through a multistep immigration court process to decide whether they can stay or are to be deported.

More than 3,000 of those minors moved in with relatives or sponsors on Long Island, making the region one of the top places in the nation to receive the children.

Some Long Island school districts saw enrollment spikes from the recent arrivals and felt pressured to give them needed classroom instruction and other educational services. At the same time, immigrant advocates and other groups, including New York Communities for Change and the Long Island chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union, mobilized to protect the children’s rights.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said Wednesday that he and Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) will reintroduce a proposal to send emergency funding to school districts that are receiving the young immigrants. The two co-sponsored a bill that stalled last year.

“Because of a failed federal policy, financial responsibility must fall on the federal government and not the Long Island taxpayer,” King said in a statement.

Israel Wednesday called the bill to reimburse schools “common-sense, bipartisan legislation to provide emergency relief.”

So far this fiscal year, 12,065 unaccompanied minors have been referred for resettlement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said a spokesman for the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, which shelters the children until they are released to relatives or sponsors. About 620 of those had come to Long Island and New York City as of February — 178 in Suffolk and 113 in Nassau.

In addition to unaccompanied minors, children also arrive in the United States with their mothers or other relatives, a trend that is expected to continue. Those children are counted separately in federal statistics as being part of family units.

Victoria Campos, an immigration attorney with offices in Huntington Station, Bay Shore and Riverhead, said she has about 25 newcomers among her clients, but most of her cases are from 2013 and 2014. She has seen a decline recently, noting there is a months long lag until attorneys see new cases.

“I tend to agree that there is going to be a second wave,” said Campos, adding that “a lot of the minors that have come are here because something traumatic has happened in their lives,” and conditions in their countries haven’t improved in the past year.

They are fleeing a host of ills, including high crime, gang violence and poverty in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Cities in those countries have some of the highest murder rates in the world.

The recent surges in border crossings have been felt more acutely where there were established immigrant populations.

The Hempstead school district became the focus of investigations by the state attorney general’s office and the State Education Department after advocates complained that newly arrived children were turned away from school last fall.

There are larger concerns for the region’s affected school systems, now in the midst of figuring out budget plans for the 2015-16 school year.

border illegal immigration immigrants children crossing gang ms13

The US’s ‘open border’ policy has allows numerous ‘children’ into our country who while technically are children under the age of 18, are part of the extremely violent gang MS13 plus part of many drug cartels.  Many Americans will be victimized and killed because of Mr. Obama’s blatant disregard for securing our border.

Illegal immigrant children surge across border at highest rate since last summer’s peak

Illegal immigrant children surge across border at highest rate since last summer’s peak

illegal alien children border

The second wave of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children has begun, with more than 3,000 of them surging across the Mexican border into the U.S. last month — the highest rate since the peak of last summer’s crisis and a warning that another rough season could be ahead.

Immigration officials warned that they expected another surge as the weather improved. Although the numbers are down some 40 percent compared with last year’s frenetic pace that sparked a political crisis for the Obama administration, fiscal year 2015 is shaping up to mark the second-biggest surge on record.

Authorities report having captured 15,647 children traveling without parents who tried to jump the border in the first six months of the fiscal year. Through this point in 2014, they had apprehended 28,579.

Just as worrisome is the rate of whole families — usually mothers with young children — who are crossing. So far this fiscal year, authorities have captured 13,911 “family units,” down 30 percent from last year.

“These statistics show that the surge of illegal arrivals from Central America was never really over,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies.

She said the Obama administration and Congress have not taken steps to end the “pull factors.”

Among those is the policy that requires children from Central America to be released into the U.S. rather than quickly returned to their home countries. Once released, those children usually fail to appear for deportation proceedings.

The Congressional Research Service told Congress in late March that 62 percent of the children failed to show up for their cases before immigration judges from July through February. All of them were ordered deported, but the workload of officials made deportation unlikely in most cases.

The Obama administration last year initially blamed bad economies and growing gang violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala for sparking the surge, but later acknowledged that human traffickers were marketing the journey by pointing out a loophole in U.S. immigration system that requires non-Mexican children to be released into the U.S. while they await final immigration decisions. That gives them a chance to abscond and disappear into the shadows with the more than 11 million other illegal immigrants in the country.

“Those are pretty bad outcomes for immigration hearings,” Ms. Vaughan said. “Lots of no-shows and few people getting relief. These statistics show that the administration’s response has been a failure.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the Border Patrol, didn’t return a message for comment Monday, but Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Catron said the Obama administration has poured manpower and resources into trying to secure the border and vowed to update plans “to ensure we are as prepared as possible for any potential scenario.”

She said agencies now have more detention beds to hold families, which means they can be deported at a faster pace. She also pointed to a new program that will allow Central American children to apply from their home countries to join their parents in the U.S., including those who are gaining tentative legal status under Mr. Obama’s deportation amnesty.

“We will remain vigilant and continue working aggressively to address underlying causes of unlawful migration,” Ms. Catron said.

Analysts have been debating what other steps are needed to stem another surge this year.  Really? It’s that complicated?  Secure the border!  Stop offering any government handouts!

Poll: Yes to more aggressive deportations, no to welfare, citizenship for kids of illegals

Poll: Yes to more aggressive deportations, no to welfare, citizenship for kids of illegals

Despite President Obama’s efforts to cool the nation’s views on illegal immigrants storming over the U.S.-Mexico border, Americans have reached a new level of anger over the issue, with most demanding a more aggressive deportation policy — and reversal of a law that grants citizenship to kids of illegals born in the U.S.

A new Rasmussen Reports survey released Monday also finds Americans questioning spending tax dollars on government aid provided to illegal immigrants. A huge 83 percent said that anybody should be required to prove that they are “legally allowed” to be in the country before receiving local, state or federal government services.

Overall, the poll is bad news for the White House because it shows sustained, and in some cases, elevated anger and frustration over the surge in undocumented immigrants in the United States.

Immigration protesters march near the Georgia Capitol in 2013 holding a sign encouraging President Obama to deliver on his promise of immigration reform. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

For example, 62 percent told the pollster that the U.S. is “not aggressive enough” in deporting those illegally in the United States. Just 15 percent believed the administration’s current policy was “about right” and 16 percent said it was “too aggressive.”

That 62 percent number is a jump from a year ago when it was 52 percent.

RELATED: Here’s where illegal immigrants in the U.S. work

When asked if the baby of an illegal born in the United States should automatically become a U.S. citizen, as is now the law, 54 percent said no versus 38 percent who said yes.

In another area that seems to test American patience with the administration, 51 percent said that illegal immigrants who have American born children should not be exempt from deportation.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted atpbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.

Obama Admin Quietly Welcoming Central American Immigrants In New Program

Obama Admin Quietly Welcoming Central American Immigrants In New Program

Jan Brewer Yelling at Obama
AZ Gov Jan Brewer Yelling at Obama over border crisis

The Obama administration is moving forward with a little-known program that will bring the families of legal immigrants from Central America to the United States.

The Obama administration launched the program, the Central American Minors Refugee/Parole Program, in December, minus any legislation from Congress, but hasn’t widely advertised it yet. The joint program between the State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is bringing in primarily children (under 21) and in certain cases, grandchildren and spouses of immigrants who are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

The immigrants currently in the United States who are eligible include legal immigrants, including those with deferred action. The USCIS website bills it as a “safe, legal and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are currently undertaking to the United States.”

Immigrants eligible for the program can qualify for refugee status — which allows them to eventually receive green cards and ultimately citizenship. Those who don’t meet refugee requirements can become eligible for parole, which is applied in urgent humanitarian cases, according to USCIS.

State Department officials say they’ve received 329 applications so far, but haven’t approved any, according to The Washington Post.

Americans Not in Labor Force Exceed 93 Million for First Time

Americans Not in Labor Force Exceed 93 Million for First Time

62.7% Labor Force Participation Matches 37-Year Low

unemployed unemployment job jobless work out of

The number of Americans 16 years and older who did not participate in the labor force–meaning they neither had a job nor actively sought one in the last four weeks–rose from 92,898,000 in February to 93,175,000 in March, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That is the first time the number of Americans out of the labor force has exceeded 93 million.

Also from February to March, the labor force participation rate dropped from 62.8 percent to 62.7 percent, matching a 37-year low.

Five times in the last twelve months, the participation rate has been as low as 62.8 percent; but March’s 62.7 percent, which matches the participation rate seen in September and December of 2014, is the lowest since February of 1978.
labor chart

BLS employment statistics are based on the civilian noninstitutional population, which consists of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home.

In March, the civilian noninstitutional population was 250,080,000 according to BLS. Of that 250,080,000, 156,906,000 — or 62.7 percent — participated in the labor force, meaning they either had or job or had actively sought one in the last four weeks.

Of the 156,906,000 who did participate in the labor force, 148,331,000 had a job and 8,575,000 did not have a job but actively sought one. The 8,575,000 are the unemployed. They equaled 5.5 percent of the labor force—or the unemployment rate of 5.5 percent (which matched the unemployment rate seen in February 2015).

According to the BLS, the aging of the baby boom generation is a key factor affecting the labor force participation rate:

“The baby boomers’ exit from the prime-aged workforce and their movement into older age groups will lower the overall labor force participation rate, leading to a slowdown in the growth of the labor force,” explains the BLS.

“In 2000, baby boomers were aged 36 to 54 years and were in the group with the highest participation rates: the prime-aged group 25 to 54 years old. The participation rate for women in this group was 76.7 percent and for men was 91.6 percent, so that the overall participation rate of the group was 84.0 percent. The participation rate of the next-older age group, that 55 years and older, was 32.4 percent, so the difference between the two age groups was 52 percentage points. With the passage of every year after 2000, a segment of the baby-boomer population passes into the 55-years-and-older age group and thus moves from a group with a high participation rate in the labor force to an age category with a much lower particiption rate, causing the overall participation rate to decrease,” states BLS.