LAPD Targets Citizens’ Free Speech Rights

The NSA follows each one of us, our emails, text message, phone calls, and our locations. The IRS follows our financial dealings—and determines if they want to seize cash and property—for years—without a criminal charge or explanation. The IRS has even stopped banks from keeping open accounts of licensed gun dealers and others the Feds do not like. Yet, when the people have a technology to know when they are being spied on, the Los Angeles Police cry foul. This is the same police department that refuses to detain and turn over illegal aliens to ICE—in affect giving criminals from other nations a get out of jail free card.

“In his letter to Larry Page, Charlie Beck said: “I am writing to alert you that your company’s ‘Waze’ app as currently configured poses a danger to the lives of police officers in the United States. That danger was just demonstrated by its use in the recent assassination of New York Police Department officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.”

For the record, NYPD police reports say the shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, randomly came across the two officers and did not have his cell phone with him at the time of the shooting. Brinsley, however, had used Waze previously.

Who to believe—a murderer or a cop that tells police officers to look the other way when an illegal alien is involved. Is chief Beck just making up a story? What do you believe?police-badge

 

LAPD Targets Citizens’ Free Speech Rights

By Lawrence J. McQuillan, Independent Institute, 2/13/15

 

As tech CEOs gather with President Obama and other government officials at today’s White House Cyber Summit at Stanford University, it is important for entrepreneurs to keep in mind who they are breaking bread with.

A case in point: Charlie Beck, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), wrote a letter recently to Larry Page, CEO of Google, to complain about the Waze app’s ability to track the location of police officers.

Waze is a wildly popular mobile app, owned by Google, that lets users type in their destination address, and, while driving with the app open on their phone, passively contribute real-time traffic data. Users can also actively report accidents, traffic jams, police locations, or any road hazard by tapping buttons, giving other users in the area a heads-up.

It’s the police-location feature that Beck opposes.

In his letter to Larry Page, Charlie Beck said: “I am writing to alert you that your company’s ‘Waze’ app as currently configured poses a danger to the lives of police officers in the United States. That danger was just demonstrated by its use in the recent assassination of New York Police Department officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.”

For the record, NYPD police reports say the shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, randomly came across the two officers and did not have his cell phone with him at the time of the shooting. Brinsley, however, had used Waze previously.

“It is not always in the public’s best interest to know where police are operating,” Beck said, explaining the letter. “There is a criminal element that are able to ply their trade and ply their craft more effectively by knowing where police are.”

Beck concluded his letter by asking for a “dialogue” with Page on how “Google can prevent the future misuse of the Waze app to track law enforcement officers . . .” It is not a stretch to surmise that Beck wants the police button removed from the app.

Let’s be clear about what Beck is asking: He wants this app, and presumably any similar traffic app in the future, to not allow private citizens to communicate with each other about the public whereabouts of police.

If mandated by governments in the future, such a ban would be a clear infringement of citizens’ free speech rights, and a dark and dangerous road to go down.

Law enforcement agencies have a long history of opposing innovations that give the public information on police locations. Agencies worried about the public’s access to police scanners. Today every newsroom in America has one. And when citizens band (CB) radios became a craze in the 1970s, police aggressively pushed back.

Fortunately, many police officers in California disagree with Beck.

“If somebody is bent on killing officers, Waze is not going to be one of the things they use,” said Mountain View (Calif.) Police Sargent Saul Jaeger to the Los Angeles Times.

Deputy Chief Chris O’Quinn with the California Highway Patrol told NBC4 News in Los Angeles that the Waze app “might encourage drivers to gain compliance, slow down, and drive in a safer manner” when drivers know police are in the area.

Sam Castaneda, a former Delano, Calif., police officer was more blunt, telling the Times that a police officer is “probably more likely to be hit by a DUI driver than attacked by a crook using technology. People are always going to know where cops are . . . If a crook wants to know where a cop is, a more accurate tool would be a scanner.”

Larry Page should talk with Beck, and politely decline his request to alter the app. Google should also fight any future legislation that tries to impose Beck’s vision. Citizens have a right to communicate with each other about where they see law enforcement in public and what officers are doing. This right must be protected and defended vigorously.

Utility Commissioner’s Emails Reveal Smart Meter Conspiracy–Smoking Gun

Michael Peevey, the disgraced former head of the California Public Utilities Commission is the husband of Democrat State Senator Carol Liu. That may be why he was able to get away with his shenanigans. Just this past week the FBI raided his home and took files, computers and documents. We will see what they find. But this much we know, the Democrat scam of “smart-meters is real”. We knew they would over charge and the meters created health problems. Now we know Peevey and PG&E knew as well. This new information will help the lawsuits on the conspiracy of the CPUC and the utilities to harm California citizens.

3) Peevey and Cherry (PG&E) colluded to permanently delay hearings until the “smart” meter rollout was completed.

As noted in EMF Safety Network’s January 22 appeal for rehearing, an email from Cherry to Tom Bottorff – a senior VP who left in disgrace but received $1.1M in severance pay – outlines the CPUC conspiracy to delay “smart” meter hearings until all “smart” meters had already been installed:

Mike [Peevey, the CPUC president] grumbled about the CCSF PFM [City and County of San Francisco Petition for Modification] and the folks in Sebastopool [sic] who want to delay SmartMeter implementation. He implied that this wasn’t going to happen and that by the time the Commission got around to acting on it, we would have installed all of our meters.”

When will the first RICO ACT lawsuit be filed against PG&E, Peevey, LIU and others possibly involved in this multi-billion scam?

Prison_crowded

Utility Commissioner’s Emails Reveal Smart Meter Conspiracy

by Josh del Sol, dcclosthesline, 2/213/15

 

FAT CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG: Evidence has now been made public of illegal actions and collusion between former California Public Utilities Commission president Michael Peevey and utility PG&E, as criminal investigations continue.

As part of a federal and state investigation into what appears to be systemic corruption involving former senior executives at PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission, 65,000 emails have been publicly released, revealing collusion and conspiracy.

Former commission president Michael Peevey and former PG&E Vice President Brian Cherry are wishing investigators would have been kept in the dark. The pair privately discussed problems with so-called “smart” meters, violating their own rules of procedure while admitting to health harm and overbilling problems which several thousand Californians had been warning about since 2010.

Details continue to surface, as press and researchers continue to delve into the mountain of collusion.

It is perhaps justly ironic that we now see, made public, the private email correspondence of those who have teamed up to deploy technology which, according to a 2012 US Congressional Research report, facilitates unprecedented in-home surveillance.

Here are some highlights from their correspondence:

1) Peevey knew – since 2010 – that “smart” meters can cause physical harm.

And he believed PG&E should do something about it, albeit “quietly”. However, instead of regulating the utility to ensure public safety, he deferred his lawful duty to PG&E – the entity causing the harm.

From a 2010 email:

“Peevey wanted PG&E to keep it quiet,” writes Sandi Maurer, Director of the EMF Safety Network. “He didn’t want other customers, or the rest of the world to know there’s a problem with smart meters causing customers pain.”

2) Peevey said after a “smart” meter was installed on his vacation home, his bill more than doubled.

Sunday’s LA Times reported this one. “Obviously something is wrong,” Peevey wrote to Cherry in 2011. “I would like an explanation.”

PG&E reacted immediately to perform a “deep dive investigation” into the billing situation at the 3,118-square-foot Sea Ranch home on the Northern California coast.

There have been tens of thousands of billing complaints in California, revealing a widespread, systemic overbilling problem which appears to be the case everywhere “smart” meters are installed.

3) Peevey and Cherry colluded to permanently delay hearings until the “smart” meter rollout was completed.

As noted in EMF Safety Network’s January 22 appeal for rehearing, an email from Cherry to Tom Bottorff – a senior VP who left in disgrace but received $1.1M in severance pay – outlines the CPUC conspiracy to delay “smart” meter hearings until all “smart” meters had already been installed:

Mike [Peevey, the CPUC president] grumbled about the CCSF PFM [City and County of San Francisco Petition for Modification] and the folks in Sebastopool [sic] who want to delay SmartMeter implementation. He implied that this wasn’t going to happen and that by the time the Commission got around to acting on it, we would have installed all of our meters.

In fact, not all of the “smart” meters have been installed in California – as thousands of customers have refused and 57 local governments don’t want them – and there are now obvious issues with those that were installed.

Thanks to multi-year efforts of advocate groups like EMF Safety Network and StopSmartMeters!, the cat is now out of the bag as to how dangerous and corrupt the grand plans of people like Michael Peevey have been. The CPUC and PG&E knew that people were being harmed and they colluded to silence the truth.

The story continues to unfold

We encourage you to stay tuned as more revelations come out by the day. With the judge-shopping scandal, ex-Commissioner Peevey’s home computers, hard drives and smart phones were seized in January by investigators. This has already led to more evidence of collusion in the multi-billion dollar bailout of the San Onofre nuclear power plant in 2013.

As utility and political leaders from around the country toasted Michael Peevey last night on a “job well done”, truth advocates will continue to sift through emails. We can only guess what will be revealed in the coming months. However, it appears that it won’t be a comfortable retirement for those who broke their own rules and brushed aside safety in order to push through the multi-billion dollar boondoggle that is the wireless “smart” grid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Runner Responds to Proposed Gas Tax Cut–the Sooner the Better

Will it snow in Sacramento on July 1—that would be a miracle. Will the Board of Equalization pass a motion to cut the gas tax by 7.5 cents a gallon—that would be a bigger miracle. Thanks to BOE member George Runner, this miracle may really happen. You are urged to call your BOE member asking them to vote for families and jobs—cut the gas tax.

“– George Runner today issued the following statement in response to a proposed 7.5 cent per gallon gas tax cut that will come before the State Board of Equalization on Tuesday, February 24:

“A gas tax cut of this magnitude would be great news for California drivers, who are currently forced to pay one of the highest gas tax rates in the nation.”

Remember, on January 1, Guv Brown increased a tax on gas by ten cents a gallon—for the choo choo train to nowhere for nobody. Even this proposed cut would not return us to where we should be—NOT the highest gas tax State in the nation.

GSA Vegas Party Needs Your Taxdollars

George Runner Responds to Proposed Gas Tax Cut

Board of Equalization Member George Runner, 2/13/15 

SACRAMENTO – George Runner today issued the following statement in response to a proposed 7.5 cent per gallon gas tax cut that will come before the State Board of Equalization on Tuesday, February 24:

“A gas tax cut of this magnitude would be great news for California drivers, who are currently forced to pay one of the highest gas tax rates in the nation.

“The proposed cut stems from falling gas prices and the resulting over collection of tax.

“Annual rate changes are required under a confusing and complicated formula enacted by the Legislature in 2010 in order to move a billion dollars to the General Fund. Each year the Board of Equalization must adjust the gas tax rate to ensure the state receives neither more nor less revenue than it would have under the prior tax system.

“I look forward to considering the proposed cut with my colleagues when the Board meets on Tuesday, February 24. We invite and welcome public feedback and participation.”

Elected in November 2010 and re-elected in 2014, George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a member of the State Board of Equalization. For more information, visit www.boe.ca.gov/Runner.

 

Union Closing of Ports Costs Agriculture Up to $5 Billion—So far

Gov. Brown and Obama have created policies killing water for California farmers. The courts have ruled that birds and fish have more rights than people. Now the unions, where dock workers can get paid up to $1200 A DAY, the average salary is $147,000 a YEAR, have decided to slow down work causing billions in losses to American importers and exporters.

Now the agriculture industry of California is looking at a $5 billion loss, in the middle of an industry Depression, thanks to the 1% union workers, making demands.

““We’ve seen extraordinary losses of all perishable commodities, which rot in the port,” said Tom Nassif, President and CEO of the trade group, Western Growers, which represents 50 percent of U.S. produce growers.

Nassif estimates $2 billion worth of fresh produce has already been lost since November, mostly nuts, citrus, and fresh vegetables. Another $3 billion is sitting on docks right now that could very well perish before it reaches customers in places like Asia, Europe, or South America.

When will Brown admit the State is in a Depression? Why? Look for the union label.

Corn Field

$5 billion worth of produce could be lost because of port gridlock

Ben Bergman, KPCC, 2/13/15

“We’ve seen extraordinary losses of all perishable commodities, which rot in the port,” said Tom Nassif, President and CEO of the trade group, Western Growers. Stephanie O’Neil/KPCC

You can debate what’s causing gridlock at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach; The dockworkers’ union blames the shipping companies, and the shippers blame the dockworkers. But this much is for sure: increasing delays in moving cargo are getting costly for California exporters, especially for growers, which are experiencing the worst delays they have seen in 13 years.

“We’ve seen extraordinary losses of all perishable commodities, which rot in the port,” said Tom Nassif, President and CEO of the trade group, Western Growers, which represents 50 percent of U.S. produce growers.

Nassif estimates $2 billion worth of fresh produce has already been lost since November, mostly nuts, citrus, and fresh vegetables. Another $3 billion is sitting on docks right now

San Diego Taxpayers Pays $2 Million a Year for “Pasture Pool” for the Rich

The officials of San Diego are upset their government owned golf courses are losing money. Actually, it should be the people of San Diego that should be mad and angry. Why does the city of San Diego, near bankruptcy due to the pension crisis and trying to spend tax dollars to keep a baseball and football team in the city by spending over $500 million—of tax money—for billionaires play toys.

“That was among the findings of a recent audit of municipal golf courses conducted by city officials. The study found that city-owned courses are losing as much as $2 million per year.

The city should sell the golf course to the private sector—it is not the role of government to create a location for people to play “pasture pool”. If no one wants to buy that, then sell the land to developers and creates homes and jobs. Get government out of the business of subsidizing play toys for the rich.SantaMoney

San Diego officials outraged as city-owned golf courses lose millions

California City News, 2/12/15

It looks like golf isn’t exactly good business in San Diego.

That was among the findings of a recent audit of municipal golf courses conducted by city officials. The study found that city-owned courses are losing as much as $2 million per year.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf called it “stunning” and “mind-boggling” that the three courses still operate according to a 1980s model more than three years after the golf division adopted an ambitious new business plan.

“I thought it was going to be a well-oiled machine,” Zapf told the San Diego U-T.

Among the problems cited by the audit was the city’s failure to hire a marketing director for the courses and the fact that people still canot book tee times online.

Zapf wants the city to consider leasing the two money-losing courses to outside operators, which the city already does with seven other courses it owns: Carlton Oaks, Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, Tecolote Canyon, Mission Trails, Presidio Hills, The Vineyard and the Pro Kids Golf Academy.

 

Policy kicking out students with low grades comes under scrutiny

What does it take to get the attention of a failed student—stay after school, force them to get tutors, put them into special classes? Maybe a slap in the face, by expelling them from school. They are wasting time, harming the education of others and spending taxpayer’s money not on teachers educating them, but making teachers babysitters. Maybe it is time for government to get serious about education?

““Charter schools are exempt from most laws in the Education Code, but the laws that apply say they have to admit all students,” said ACLU lawyer Jessica Price, and they must “serve all students who wish to attend.”

But if a student refuses to learn, should the children is the charter School be punished? That is what the educrats want—to harm dozens of kids so one child can fail.

classroom

Policy kicking out students with low grades comes under scrutiny

by Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, KPCC, 2/13/15

State law prohibits public charter schools from dismissing students whose grade-point averages fall below a certain threshold.

To enroll in the Public Safety Academy in San Bernardino, students had to submit satisfactory scores from California standardized English and math tests and, to stay in, maintain a 2.0 grade point average.

Both policies violate state law because the academy is a public charter school, according to lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Charter schools are exempt from most laws in the Education Code, but the laws that apply say they have to admit all students,” said ACLU lawyer Jessica Price, and they must “serve all students who wish to attend.”

The admission policies of the school, which prepares students for public safety careers such as police work, are found in the student handbook. Efforts to dismiss students with low grades were evident in school documents obtained by the ACLU.

The school did not immediately respond when asked how many students had been dismissed since its founding in 2000. But in 2013, the school said it sent letters to families of 23 students whose grade-point average had fallen below 2.0 for one semester. The letters advised students to enroll in another school and turn in their books.

However, after the ACLU brought the violation to the school’s attention, those letters were rescinded, according to Principal Jennifer Stickel.

The school “wants all of its students to succeed academically so they can graduate from high school and build a bright future. To that end, PSA has in place many supports to assist students who are struggling academically,” Stickel wrote in a December 2014 letter to the ACLU.

“It is important to note that PSA does not expel students for unsatisfactory academics. This means that students removed and remanded to their home school district for failure to make academic improvement may immediately enroll in another public school, with no delay in their education,” Stickel wrote.

Soon after that correspondence, both sides met and the school agreed to remove the minimum grade and enrollment requirements from its policies.

This school year, administrators did not send letters dismissing students for low grades, Stickel told KPCC by email, though the school did send warnings to 17 low-performing students.

“We believe personal character, hard work, and perseverance are essential to success. A student performing at a 1.3 GPA may have difficulty competing in any job market, let alone public safety,” she wrote.

Other charter schools may have similar policies, ACLU said.

“We’ve heard rumors that it’s happening elsewhere, but we know that a lot of people have been afraid to come forward,” Price said. “We also want folks in the San Bernardino area to know that it’s not supposed to be happening anymore.”

The minimum GPA requirement is not a common policy among charter schools, according to the California Charter Schools Association, the group that advocates for charter schools.

“Charter schools have explicit reasons for which students may be dismissed which are articulated as part of the petitioning process approved and monitored by their authorizers,” spokeswoman Emily Bertelli said in an email. She added the association does not believe that a student should be excluded from a charter school after getting low grades.

LAUSD Teachers Demand: Give Us Our Demands or We Strike

At an elementary school in Anaheim union teachers surround a citizen and forced him out of a public meeting. Five schools in LAUSD needed a court order to force them to provide quality education for the children—of course the court will not be able to enforce the order. In San Fran the schools tells bullies not to threaten other kids—then put them back in the classroom to terrorize their victims again.

Now the LAUSD teachers union—which in the past had provided seminars on how to end the State of Israel! This is a highly political organization, education is a happenstance to their operations—money for politics and uses teacher forced to pay bribes as fodder for killing freedom.

“With the union sticking by its demand of an 8.5 percent salary increase, the sides remain $800 million apart, according to district calculations. A district statement released tonight said its negotiators asked their counterparts to identify other sources for the money but did not, apparently, get a response.

“I’m very disappointed in UTLA’s unwillingness to accept our responsible offer,” Superintendent Ramon Cortines said in the statement. “We are dealing with a budget that has had a deficit for three years and we are trying to balance it. Again, we must learn to live within our means as we preserve vital and necessary educational services for our students.”

California is in a Depression—the financial status of the State is as honest as an Obama statement about health care. This is a great way to kill off what is left of government education in Los Angeles. Actually, bankrupting the system might be a good thing—go unions!!Ashs-teacher-and-students

Teachers union flatly rejects latest LA Unified labor contract offer

by LA School Report, 2/13/15

The teachers union today made it official, flatly rejecting LA Unified’s most recent contract offer, which included a five percent salary rise, a nine percent increase in minimum salary for first-year teachers and additional money to lower class size.

With the union sticking by its demand of an 8.5 percent salary increase, the sides remain $800 million apart, according to district calculations. A district statement released tonight said its negotiators asked their counterparts to identify other sources for the money but did not, apparently, get a response.

“I’m very disappointed in UTLA’s unwillingness to accept our responsible offer,” Superintendent Ramon Cortines said in the statement. “We are dealing with a budget that has had a deficit for three years and we are trying to balance it. Again, we must learn to live within our means as we preserve vital and necessary educational services for our students.”

The union, UTLA, confirmed its rejection in a short statement, adding, “The offer was insufficient. No new proposals were offered today by either side.”

UTLA remains the only district labor partner that remains without a new contract. The others have accepted a two percent salary increase, which the teachers scoffed at when they were offered the same amount in the district’s opening offer.

About the only good news emerging from today’s meeting is that there is another bargaining session scheduled on Feb. 18, with additional meetings to follow though the end of March.

Whether any amount of time will make much of a difference is the open question. In his response to district-wide teacher protests this morning, Cortines hinted that the district’s latest offer may be it’s last, and his statement tonight did little to alter that impression.

The teachers, on the other hand, have not had a raise in more than seven years and have spent months drumming up community support for their demands.

After several concessions on its salary demand over the months —  from 10 percent to 9 to the most recent 8.5 percent — the union’s unwillingness to lower it again suggests that it, too, may have hit a bargaining redline.

If it’s true that both sides have reached a limit, the possibility of a strike would appear all the more real.

 

Report: Solar Energy Subsidies Cost $39 Billion Per Year

Solar might be the most expensive form of energy in the nation. Not only has Obama given billions to his friends and donors for Solyndra and other phony firms, but the subsidies has cost billions–$39 billion per year!!!

“Despite billions spent in investments over decades, solar energy will only make up 0.6 percent of total electricity generation in the United States, according to a report released by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA).

“In spite of government’s best efforts to encourage innovation by solar energy companies and encourage Americans to rely more heavily on solar electricity, solar power continues to be a losing proposition,” the report said. “American taxpayers spent an average of $39 billion a year over the past 5 years financing grants, subsidizing tax credits, guaranteeing loans, bailing out failed solar energy boondoggles and otherwise underwriting every idea under the sun to make solar energy cheaper and more popular. But none of it has worked.”

That is close to $200 billion used of tax dollars that could have been used for schools, roads and national defense. Worse, at the same time Obama has been closing down cheap, clean coal mines, killing tens of thousands of jobs—and raising the cost of energy to consumers. For America solar is lose-lose.

SolarFactory

Report: Solar Energy Subsidies Cost $39 Billion Per Year

BY: Elizabeth Harrington, Washington Free Beacon, 2/12/15
Despite billions spent in investments over decades, solar energy will only make up 0.6 percent of total electricity generation in the United States, according to a report released by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA).

“In spite of government’s best efforts to encourage innovation by solar energy companies and encourage Americans to rely more heavily on solar electricity, solar power continues to be a losing proposition,” the report said. “American taxpayers spent an average of $39 billion a year over the past 5 years financing grants, subsidizing tax credits, guaranteeing loans, bailing out failed solar energy boondoggles and otherwise underwriting every idea under the sun to make solar energy cheaper and more popular. But none of it has worked.”

Government support for the solar industry is vast, with at least 345 different federal initiatives that spread across 20 agencies, the report noted. The Pentagon has the highest number of solar programs, with 63, followed by the Interior Department, which oversees 37 programs. The Energy Department only manages 34 solar programs.

“This report is only the first step in asking the important questions about solar subsidies,” said David Williams, the president of the TPA. “Taxpayers need to know the truth about where their dollars are being spent.”

“Congress needs to stop these massive subsidies that are siphoning $39 billion a year from taxpayers,” he said. “If solar is ever going to be a viable energy source and industry, they need to wean themselves off the public dole.”

In addition to the federal government, which has spent $150 billion in the last five years, states also heavily subsidize the industry by offering tax breaks and 538 rebate programs.

However, solar energy will only contribute 0.6 percent of total U.S. electricity generation in 2015, the TPA’s report said.

Last month the Energy Department announced an additional $59 million for “solar deployment plans.”

“The U.S. has installed more than 17 gigawatts of solar power—enough to power 3.5 million average American homes,” the agency noted. Seventeen gigawatts is only enough to power 3.02 percent of the 115. 6 million households in the United States.

A majority of federal spending for solar power goes towards tax incentives, grants, and loan guarantees, the report said, including the Investment Tax Credit, which was used by Solyndra, and the Sunshot Initiative.

The Sunshot Initiative spends $270 million per year attempting to “induce companies to lower production and installation costs associated with photovoltaic solar panel systems and reducing the price of solar power,” the report said.

The report concluded that the time has come for solar energy to prove its merits without billions in support from the federal government.

“After decades of massive ‘investments’ and disappointing results, it is time that Americans critically evaluate whether our faltering federal solar initiatives deserve continued support,” the report said. “With so little to show for so many costly initiatives, it should be apparent to objective observers that federal solar power efforts have not been a productive or prudent use of precious tax dollars.”

“Solar energy’s day in the sun may yet come, but taxpayers should not be forced to foot the cost associated with turning the failing industry around,” it added. “Solar energy must be asked to stand on its own, powered exclusively by private investment and initiative.”

Southern Cal Edison Fires 400 Americans–to Hire Foreigners as Replacements

A vast majority of the jobs created under Obama have been part time, temporary, low pay jobs. He is now working hard to keep this record by creating more H1B visas so foreign computer workers can take the jobs of American workers—and bring pressure to lower the wages of the Americans allowed to work in the technology industry.

“Information technology workers at Southern California Edison (SCE) are being laid off and replaced by workers from India. Some employees are training their H-1B visa holding replacements, and many have already lost their jobs.

With enhanced mobility and work flexibility comes increased security risk. Explore the security

The employees are upset and say they can’t understand how H-1B guest workers can be used to replace them.

The IT organization’s “transition effort” is expected to result in about 400 layoffs, with “another 100 or so employees leaving voluntarily,” SCE said in a statement. The “transition,” which began in August, will be completed by the end of March, the company said.

Where are the new workers coming from? “SCE, Southern California’s largest utility, has confirmed the layoffs and the hiring of Infosys, based in Bangalore, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Mumbai. They are two of the largest users of H-1B visas.”

If SCE was not a monopoly I would move to another company—this is why government enforced monopolies must end.

hope unemployment jobs obama

 

Southern California Edison IT workers ‘beyond furious’ over H-1B replacements

 

About 500 IT jobs are cut at utility through layoffs and voluntary departures

By Patrick Thibodeau,, Computerworld, 2/4/15

Information technology workers at Southern California Edison (SCE) are being laid off and replaced by workers from India. Some employees are training their H-1B visa holding replacements, and many have already lost their jobs.

With enhanced mobility and work flexibility comes increased security risk. Explore the security

The employees are upset and say they can’t understand how H-1B guest workers can be used to replace them.

The IT organization’s “transition effort” is expected to result in about 400 layoffs, with “another 100 or so employees leaving voluntarily,” SCE said in a statement. The “transition,” which began in August, will be completed by the end of March, the company said.

“They are bringing in people with a couple of years’ experience to replace us and then we have to train them,” said one longtime IT worker. “It’s demoralizing and in a way I kind of felt betrayed by the company.”

SCE, Southern California’s largest utility, has confirmed the layoffs and the hiring of Infosys, based in Bangalore, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Mumbai. They are two of the largest users of H-1B visas.

The utility has a large IT department. In 2012, before any layoffs, it had about 1,800 employees, plus an additional 1,500 contract workers.

Computerworld interviewed, separately, four affected SCE IT employees. They agreed to talk on the condition that their names not be used.

The IT employees at SCE are “beyond furious,” said a second IT worker.

The H-1B program “was supposed to be for projects and jobs that American workers could not fill,” this worker said. “But we’re doing our job. It’s not like they are bringing in these guys for new positions that nobody can fill.

“Not one of these jobs being filled by India was a job that an Edison employee wasn’t already performing,” he said.

SCE said the transition to Infosys and Tata “will lead to enhancements that deliver faster and more efficient tools and applications for services that customers rely on. Through outsourcing, SCE’s information technology organization will adopt a proven business strategy commonly and successfully used by top U.S. companies that SCE benchmarks against.”

The employees say that some of SCE’s U.S. workers have been training their replacements, either in person in SCE’s IT offices or over Web sessions with workers in India. The IT workers say the Indian tech workers do not have the skill levels of the people they are replacing.

The SCE outsourcing “is one more case, in a long line of them, of injustice where American workers are being replaced by H-1Bs,” said Ron Hira, a public policy professor at Howard University, and a researcher on offshore outsourcing. “Adding to the injustice, American workers are being forced to do ‘knowledge transfer,’ an ugly euphemism for being forced to train their foreign replacements. Americans should be outraged that most of our politicians have sat idly by while outsourcing firms have hijacked the guest worker programs.”

“The majority of the H-1B program is now being used to replace Americans and facilitate the offshoring of high wage jobs,” Hira said.

SCE said Infosys and Tata were selected through a competitive process that began “with eight potential vendors, some of them United States-based.

“The decision made to contract with Infosys and TCS was made following vendor site visits, some in India, and in-depth reviews of prospective vendors’ operations,” the utility said.

SCE employees said that since August, when the layoffs began, the composition of the IT workplace began to change. “I see a lot of Indian people walking the halls, and less Americans,” said a third IT worker interviewed.

Employee observations of an increasing number of foreign workers in their workplace is backed up by U.S. Labor Department filings. Employers have to file wage data of foreign workers and their workplace location with federal authorities in a form called a Labor Condition Application (LCA). In Irwindale, California, where SCE runs a major part of its IT operations, the two offshore companies had as many as 180 LCAs, and in a random check of these applications, every address matched an SCE location.

Displaced IT workers have long protested and complained about the use of H-1B workers, but they are overshadowed by large tech companies that lead H-1B lobbying efforts in Washington. IT workers are also effectively silenced through severance agreements that include non-disparagement clauses and confidentiality provisions, as well as fears that public complaining may hurt re-employment prospects.

Replacing U.S. workers with H-1B workers violates the spirit if not the letter of the law. Hira pointed out that as a part of the application process to obtain H-1B approval from the Labor Department, an employer is required to attest to the following: “Working Conditions: The employer attests that H-1B, H-1B1 or E-3 foreign workers in the named occupation will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed.” This statement is in Form 9035CP of the LCA.

Further, Hira noted that the Labor Department states, “The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires that the hiring of a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers comparably employed.

“The SCE case is clearly one where the hiring of the H-1B is adversely affecting the wages and working conditions of American workers,” Hira said. “There isn’t a clearer cut case of adverse impacts – the American worker is losing his job to an H-1B.” Hira believes that the U.S. Secretary of Labor has the authority to investigate these cases.

The use of H-1B workers has other implications as well. They are mostly young, under 35 years of age, according to government data, and the SCE workers interviewed said many older workers were being laid off. H-1B workers are also overwhelmingly male. The IEEE has estimated that as many as 85% are males.

Although H-1B workers have to be paid prevailing wages, a data analysis of wages that Hira conducted found that H-1B workers cost employers less. The national median wage for an Infosys worker over a recent three-year period was $60,000 per year and for Tata it was $64,900, he said.  These are figures that are lower than what appear in salary surveys, including Computerworld‘s annual survey. H-1B workers employed by offshore outsourcing companies are less likely to become permanent residents. Infosys sponsored only 2% of its workers for permanent U.S. residency over a three-year period and Tata, none, he said.

Northeast Utilities in Connecticut last year made a similar decision to SCE’s and brought in foreign contractors on visas. More than 200 U.S. IT workers lost their jobs.

Some of the SCE employees say the outsourcing move is linked to a 2012 report that found fault with the IT management culture. The report, by a consulting firm’s incident management team, followed a December 2011 shooting, where an employee fatally shot two IT managers and wounded two other workers before taking his own life. The gunman worked in the IT department.

The consultants interviewed IT workers who told them that some managers were “autocratic, authoritarian and draconian in their approach.” Full-time employees complained of working excessive hours, including weekends and holidays. The report said that “these difficult and exhausting conditions are reportedly having adverse consequences on employees health, including increased stress and irritability.”

Prior to the outsourcing agreements, the SCE employees said there were a series of layoffs, including managers.

SCE said it is helping affected employees with severance, and other benefits, including “job fairs and other possible opportunities with other organizations within SCE.”

“SCE does not take this action lightly and it is assisting employees through this difficult period,” the utility said.

But the third employee interviewed said it did not appear that the company was interested in keeping any of the IT workers targeted for layoffs, and they weren’t being offered the chance to apply for other jobs. “They just want to get rid of us and clean house,” said this IT worker, who now worries about keeping her home.

 

L.A. Libraries–Not Books But Assisting Illegal Aliens Avoid Deportation

LAUSD is going to provide attorneys for illegal alien students to fight deportations. The Attorney General Kamela Harris is providing $3 million to pay for attorneys for illegal aliens. The DMV is giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens—who when the amnesty happens will qualify them for $24,000 a year for the last three years as EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) AND allow them to vote—remember illegal aliens have NO problems violating our laws.

“City libraries have for a couple of years had “Citizenship Corners,” where people can obtain information about applying for U.S. citizenship. Now, librarians are being trained to help guide immigrants through the process of applying for deportation protection and work permits.

Library officials said immigrants will be able to go the city’s 73 libraries for details on where and how to apply. They’ll also be able to look up applications online, attend informational forums, and get referrals to legal help.

So, our libraries will be used to promote criminals being allowed to stay in our nation. Another reason not to vote for bonds—libraries used to promote criminal activities—at the demand of government.

library college student books

LA libraries set to help applicants with Obama immigration plan

Leslie Berestein Rojas, KPCC, 2/12/15

Mayor Eric Garcetti, right, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson spoke Thursday at the Los Angeles Central Library, in advance of the Feb. 18 kickoff of the Obama administration’s executive immigration plan. Garcetti said the city is committing resources toward assisting immigrants who seek to apply. Librarians will be trained to provide information to those seeking temporary legal status and work permits. Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Los Angeles public libraries want to be free information centers for immigrants seeking temporary legal status under President Obama’s executive plan.

City libraries have for a couple of years had “Citizenship Corners,” where people can obtain information about applying for U.S. citizenship. Now, librarians are being trained to help guide immigrants through the process of applying for deportation protection and work permits.

Library officials said immigrants will be able to go the city’s 73 libraries for details on where and how to apply. They’ll also be able to look up applications online, attend informational forums, and get referrals to legal help.

It’s part of a broader city effort to assist immigrants, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday.

Speaking at the Los Angeles Central Library, Garcetti that the city has committed about $10 million in city resources to help implement the federal plan. He said that will be matched by another $10 million from foundations and nonprofits.

“We’re using existing resources in places they trust, like libraries, where they already come to people they trust, like librarians, for information,” Garcetti said.

He said city schools, along with parks and recreation staff, will also be trained to provide information to immigrants interested in applying.

Garcetti added that the resources committed are in-kind and that “we’re not taking money out of any other parts of of the budget.” A Garcetti spokeswoman said the city will rely on existing staff and departments for the outreach effort.

Garcetti and several other U.S. mayors recently announced a “Cities for Citizenship” initiative aimed at helping immigrants naturalize.

Garcetti spoke at the Central Library along with Department of Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson, who was in Los Angeles in advance of the immigration plan’s Feb. 18 kickoff.

On that date, immigrants without legal status who were brought to the U.S. as minors may start applying for three years of temporary legal status and work permits; an estimated 300,000 people are believed to be eligible. Applications for parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents are set to open in May, with millions expected to sign up.