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New Migration of Immigrants in Northern Virginia.

Statistics Prove Recession is here

Woes in American Economy has effect on Mexico

Politics and Donations Fuel IRS Program.

HUD Secretary Departs Amidst Charges of Cronyism and Extravagance

Federal Credit Cards Being Abused.

Airline Industry Gets Low Marks

The Power of the Press; a Good Deed or Terrorism.

Hosting the Olympics too costly for everyone but the Politicians

Wal-Mart Badly Damages Image for an Hour’s Profit.

Exxon Creates High Prices at the Pump.

Good Old Boys Network Prevents Accountability in Business.

School Violence Demands Responsibility

Spitzer’s Hubris shows no Boundaries.

Wrigley Field: What’s in a name is plenty to Cub Fans.

All Posts by Mike Fak
 



mike-fak Blog

By Mike Fak(18,239) Mike Fak
About Mike Fak(18,239) Mike Fak


New Migration of Immigrants in Northern Virginia.

Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2008 (34 days ago.)

The County Board of Prince William County in Northern Virginia is being made to look like fascists. They have decided to stem the tide of illegal aliens in their county and now the immigrants both legal and illegal are leaving for greener and friendlier pastures.

The county was pressured into action by the huge financial burden of having to accept illegal immigrant children into their public schools. Moreover they were required to have classes available for students who didn’t speak English. America is the only country that requires the country and not the immigrant assimilate the cultural divide.

What Prince William did actually is simply enforce the federal law that no one in Washington wants to demand be enforced. Police in the county are checking the immigration status of crime suspects and if they are illegals they are turning them over to immigration authorities. Now they aren’t just walking up to people on the streets and demanding identification. What they are requiring is that individuals who are suspected of breaking the law, or have broken the law, provide valid proof they are even supposed to be in this country.

This debate about the fairness of checking an individual’s immigration status is only happening in this country. No other country in the world allows such a gross import of undocumented individuals without some sort of safeguards as to who is here and what are they doing.

The school district states that the law has had a marked decrease in students attending the county’s public schools. Almost 888 students previously enrolled in their schools have now registered in neighboring county schools where no one cares if a person is getting a free education paid for by legal citizens, including Hispanics.

The spin by neighboring counties is heavy. They continue to use words like foreign born when discussing the immigrants. Yet the language classes they require schools conduct are not in German or French or Italian; they are in Hispanic. So let’s be honest and just admit the system is set up to teach immigrants from Mexico who don’t speak English and really don’t have to learn, thanks to our nation’s refusing to demand our heritage be maintained and not some other country’s.

The counties also claim that many legal immigrants are being driven out of Prince William County as well as illegals. It is by the very nature of our laws that this is happening. Two illegal immigrants who have a child in this country are still illegal but the child is considered an American and this is where the rub comes in on claiming legal immigrants are being punished.

The law of two wrongs creating a right was not the intention of the founding fathers when this immigration loophole was included in our laws. It just never would have dawned on them that people from other countries could come here with total disregard to our laws and not be challenged.

The situation should be perfectly simple. If a person comes here legally and properly, they should be afforded all the rights this country has to offer. If they sneak into our country and flaunt our laws of sovereignty and demand we adjust to them, we should send them back.


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Statistics Prove Recession is here

Posted Friday, April 25, 2008 (37 days 21 hours ago.)

For the past several months we have heard politicians and pundits and so called financial experts say we; might be in a recession, could be headed for a recession or face the possibility of a recession. Well, I’m here to tell all you high priced, flagrantly inept experts that the recession is here whether you care to admit it or not.

The statistics tell the story. New homes sales in March plunged to their lowest level in almost 17 years. Manufacturing orders fell for the third straight month which hadn’t happened since the 2001 recession which was a baby compared to what this monster might develop into. We weren’t being gouged by oil producers back then and everything dealing with inflation is tied to oil. Food and durable goods are rising rapidly because of costs of transport. Airlines are failing due to fuel consumption costs and retailers are cutting employees and closing stores to make their bottom lines profitable.

New unemployment claims dipped slightly but anyone with a brain knows that isn’t the statistic to use to judge job strength in the economy. People who lost jobs and had to take lesser paying ones aren’t factored into this category. People who are business for self an ineligible for unemployment and they are left out of this statistic. Let’s not forget all the people who fell off the rolls because their time for benefits had expired but they still weren’t working.

The real statistic as to how many Americans don’t have jobs isn’t even kept with numbers ranging from 13% to 22% depending on who you choose to use as a source. One real world statistic the Labor Department does keep is new layoffs and this March was the highest number of layoffs in five years. It should tell you right there that the numbers get skewed. The highest number of layoffs in five years but unemployment claims go down. It doesn’t add up does it?

The prices for gasoline, heating oil and electricity have gone up in near catastrophic proportions this past year but no one in Washington gives those damaging numbers anything more than a brief talking point about how we need to develop a strategy. It’s a little late for strategy. It’s time someone did something.

The President refuses to see the reality, stating just yesterday that we weren’t in a recession but in a temporary slowdown. Maybe the President and Congress should catch the news article that tells us more than any other bit of bad news that we are in hard times. Not only in America but around the world.

Both the Sam’s Clubs and Costco have announced they are limiting purchases of bags of white rice to four per customer. Although the stores didn’t state if the control of sales was due to shortages or hording by American families just the headline should tell us all something. Where else except in a report by a third world nation, have you ever heard of sales of rice being rationed at stores.

The recession is here. The problem is we can’t fix it until people stop being cowards and admit they have failed and need to change policies and direction. Things are far from hopeless. We can get out of this crisis with firm and specific direction and goals. But first everyone in politics needs to stop believing it is better to cover for their political party’s failed policies then to admit their failures and work to fix something both parties broke.

 


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Woes in American Economy has effect on Mexico

Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 (40 days 22 hours ago.)

One would think that the American economy would be our problem and not another country’s but reports show that a downturn in our economy is causing severe financial distress in Mexico.

Many Mexican families, who have relied on family members in the U.S. sending them some of their wages every month, are now seeing those monies curtailed or completely lost.

The practice of earning American dollars and sending some of them home to Mexico is called remittance by Mexican officialsand the remittances are a chief factor in the economy of Mexico which shows just how inept their government is at creating any jobs.

Last year, almost $24 billion was sent back to Mexico making the remittances the second highest source of income topped only by oil exports. Yes, remittances even topped the heavy Mexican tourism trade for income last year. It is obvious the Mexican government has no idea how to create a stable economy and so their failures are thrust on our country. That $24 billion easily could have been used to purchase goods and services right here thus stimulating our economy rather than being spent keeping another’s from falling into abject poverty.

The Mexican government, which keeps track of remittances, states January’s payments into their country were down almost 7 percent compared with the year before and showed the steepest drop in 13 years. They keep track of this statistic because remittances are a lifeblood to their economy’s staggering failures.

There are many factors believed to have caused the downtown in money coming into Mexico. In some cases, legal immigrants have lost their homes with the sub prime fiasco. Others have lost their construction jobs or had their hours cut back to the point they have little left to send back home. In still other cases, illegals have not been able to find any work and thus they have nothing to send back to their families.

This crisis is having resounding effects on the Mexican impoverished but the repercussions will soon be felt here in the U.S.

It is feared that with no jobs available and income from families in the U.S. drying up, that more Mexicans will try to cross the border looking for the Promised Land. The problem is the promises in this land are also drying up. Keeping our own economy afloat in these trying times is difficult enough. Trying to also salvage the economy of a country that has no model and no plan for creating work just makes the situation all the more impossible for us.

The borders are open between Mexico and America. The number of illegals will only grow as we continue to not protect our own interests. As long as we continue to spend billions on health care, welfare, food stamps and other aid for people whose own government should be paying these bills, the recession and the border problem will only get worse.

The blame is on us for allowing this to happen and certainly not on the desperate Mexican people who are trying to survive. If they can’t find jobs, or receive money in Mexico then they will come here and join the millions who receive tax money from us. It won’t stop until we put an end to taking care of the population of another country that has an obligation to take care of their own.

There is nothing good to come out of exporting jobs but there is also nothing good out of seeing wages earned in this country also exported. The days of our strong economy propping up another nation are over. We are already beyond any reasonable allowance of national debt and nothing we are currently doing is going to make anything better. Mexico has in effect become our welfare state and we don’t have the money to do the job. The turnstile is open and Mexican officials are waving good bye to their obligations as they head north asking us for help.


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Politics and Donations Fuel IRS Program.

Posted Friday, April 18, 2008 (44 days 22 hours ago.)

In another incredible bit of pay for play, the IRS is finally getting heat for a tax collection program that actually loses the agency more money then it collects. The hearing, currently being conducted, is shedding light on a program where the IRS turns over small tax debts to private collection agencies for collection. The hearings have shown that the program doesn’t actually help collect late and errant taxes but in fact spends more of our tax dollars than it returns. In fact, the IRS will actually lose $37 million this year but there are politicians who stand by this ridiculous misuse of taxpayer money.

The program was instituted in 2004 by a Republican Congress to help alleviate the burden being placed on IRS employees to work collections of taxes admittedly owed by citizens who were not paying them back. Thus three private firms, all of which give sizable contributions to the senators who backed the proposal were given the books on back tax citizens and told to collect them for the IRS. The problem is they are not only doing a poor job at collecting monies but unlike debt collectors in the real world, who make a percentage of what they collect, these debt collectors are charging for their services even when their services aren’t producing results.

They use the guise of implementation costs but when you think of it, there aren’t really any implementation costs. You are given a bill that someone owes and you try and get them to pay it. Where is the implementation cost in that?

Perhaps the best quote of the year comes from Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) who says of the program, “This program is the hood ornament for incompetence.

Another quote that perhaps shows just how feeble minded our legislative leaders are comes from Rep. Jim Ramstead (Minn.) who defended the program by saying, “I hope we don’t take an enormous step backward in our efforts to close the tax gap by eliminating a program that’s working.”

Only a politician would think a program that loses $37 million dollars is working. 

What is beyond understanding is that the IRS says they don’t have enough personnel to handle these tax collections in house. I beg to ask how many additional employees could it hire for $37 million dollars to do just that.

Proponents of the system say that the plan could break even by 2010 and that is why it should be allowed to continue. Now there’s a government program we can all get behind. Let’s collect taxes and pay an exact same amount to collect them. That isn’t really breaking even by the way. That is saying we are working for nothing. What we will end up with are private collection firms who gave almost a million dollars to politicians since 2004, actually collecting tax dollars that were supposed to go to the government to provide services. I’m not sure we can get anything more backwards then this. I’m not sure what is worse in our public officials, corruption or stupidity. In this case it appears both are running neck and neck down the track.


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