Archive for March 23rd, 2008

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Cairo, Egypt - The United States has announced that it is planning to help Egypt build a border fence along the Gaza-Egypt border. Washington transferred $23 million worth of special aid to the North African nation as part of its assistance in locating smuggling tunnels.

Over the past few months, smuggling between Gaza and Egypt has garnered more attention in light of the Israeli economic blockade on the small Mediterranean strip of land. Israel is calling on Egypt to improve its crackdown on Palestinian smuggling, which the Jewish state says allows weapons to enter Gaza that are then used against southern Israel.

The planned fence between Egypt and Gaza will employ technology directed at preventing the fence from being damaged. This is in response to Palestinian militants who blew a hole in the current wall between the two nations that allowed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flock into Egypt late January and early February.

The American Army Corps of Engineers plans to send teams to Egypt to help push forward the border fence plans.

No timetable has been given yet as to when the wall will be constructed

While building the wall, the Americans also hope to help Egyptian security forces locate and destroy smuggling tunnels into Gaza

Israel has welcomed the move, saying that American participation will help end the movement of weapons into Gaza.

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This story is a perfect example of how an endless supply of cheap illegal labor promotes low wages and the abuse of workers. How can an American compete at $1.63 an hour? GuardDog

“Paid workers at some of the other 1,000 washes throughout Southern California said they earned as little as $1.63 an hour. As of January, the minimum wage rose to $8 an hour.”

“We sweat like animals,” said detailer Manuel Varela, 42, who until recently worked at a carwash just west of downtown Los Angeles.”

“Immigration authorities have done little to discourage the steady flow of undocumented workers into carwash jobs, affording owners an endless supply of cheap, eager and easily exploited laborers.”

Inspectors find dirt on books at Southern Calif. carwashes
Los Angeles Times
March 23, 2008

Owners frequently violate labor and immigration laws with little risk of penalty, officials say. Many workers are loath to complain, but some have formally accused their bosses of underpaying them.

Ateam of state inspectors strode into the Blue Wave Car Wash in West Los Angeles, past latte-sipping customers in electric massage chairs and into the gritty carwash tunnel.

“¿Cuánto gana usted?” the inspectors asked worker after worker, about 20 of them, most Latino immigrants. “How much do you make?” Each carwashero responded that he earned minimum wage or more — just as the owner of the Blue Wave, one of the region’s busiest carwashes, had told the inspectors.

Looking over payroll records, however, the regulators became suspicious. Employees who said they were full time were listed as working just 10 or 15 hours a week.

Inspector Martha Mendoza ushered Juan Cruz Santiago, a small man with salt-and-pepper hair, away from the others. During gentle questioning under a ficus tree, he admitted that most days, he and his 66-year-old father worked for tips only. So did nearly half the other employees, he said. It had been that way for at least six years.

“It’s bad,” the 41-year-old Oaxacan immigrant whispered to Mendoza, his eyes darting nervously toward his boss’ office. “Other carwashes are the same, no?”

Many are. A Times investigation has found that hand carwashes — automotive beauty shops patronized by tens of thousands of Southern California motorists every day — often brazenly violate basic labor and immigration laws with little risk of penalty.

Half or more of carwash owners flout the minimum-wage law, estimated David Dorame, the longtime lead investigator for low-wage industries at California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Despite many undocumented workers’ reluctance to complain to authorities, employees at a fifth of Southern California’s carwashes in the last five years have formally accused owners of illegally underpaying them, The Times found.

From Santa Monica to Westwood to Koreatown, many workers said they received only tips for some or all of their shifts. Labor division inspectors estimated that about 10% to 20% of car dryers are not paid by owners.

“Tips only” is a requirement for some new workers until owners are satisfied that they can properly dry a car, laborers said. Their take is typically $10 to $30 a day.

At the Blue Wave, owner Isaac Shanfeld told inspectors that all of his workers earn at least minimum wage, costing him $700,000 a year. The Beverly Hills resident said he didn’t know of anyone working for tips alone, but added: “I can’t police everyone.” After the inspection last fall, he was issued a $2,600 citation for wage violations……

To read entire article click here.

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Thanks to Mayor Tony “the toilet brush” Villar and his sanctuary policies, this young man is dead. As far as Tony’s “Million Trees” initiative, I heard only 400 trees were actually planted. Photo ops are what Tony Villar does best.

CBS2.com

LOS ANGELES Immigration officials say the suspected Los Angeles street gang member charged in the shooting death of a high school football star may have been in the country illegally.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice said Saturday her agency has filed an immigration hold against 19-year-old Pedro Espinoza.

The hold means Espinoza will be transferred into her agency’s custody for possible deportation when he leaves local custody.

Espinoza was released from jail in an assault case the day before the March 2 killing of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Junior.

Kice did not know if there was a hold on him during his previous sentence, but said inmates on hold are generally released directly into her agency’s custody.

Shaw was shot to death in the 2100 block of Fifth Avenue. A car had pulled up and Espinoza, a member of the 18th Street Gang, allegedly got out and asked “Where you from” — meaning what gang — and opened fire.

Shaw’s father ran outside and found his son dying next to a tree that the two had planted with the mayor almost three years ago as part of the city’s Million Trees Initiative.

“Yes, it just so happened we were standing close by, so he helped the mayor plant the tree,” Shaw’s father said. “And it was special because, you know, we took pictures with the mayor. Look at this spot (now) and it’s like man, this is just so sad. It’s like, wow. This is so devastating.”

A “tree of life” plaque was unveiled by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Saturday to honor Jamiel.

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NewsWithViews

As you know, the Fed was founded to farm the farmers and steal the assets. First it expands; then it contracts. And when it contracts, it holds you upside down by the ankles until all the cash in your pockets falls out. That is what it is doing now. Notice that it rescued Bear Stearns which was ?too big to fail.?

As I write, Lehman Brothers looks as shaky as a hooker in church. Because Lehman is an Insider company, the so-called Plunge Protection Team will save it as well, if necessary. It will do nothing to save Mr. and Mrs. Adjustable Rate Mortgage when their monthly payment explodes, because the ARMS are small enough to fail.

Banking is one of the few businesses in which crime is rewarded; and the bigger the crime, the greater the reward. The perpetrators take down millions in bonuses and do not go to prison. Ayn Rand disciple Alan Greenspan, former top Fed swindler, more than any other man got us into this mess; now he is telling clients in the Middle East to dump the ?dollar? and go to the Euro.

But there is more to the matter than simple criminality. Remember that Boosh and the other conspirators are trying to merge the United States, Mexico and Canada on the way to world government. As I write, dozens of unelected, joint committees are forging the connections. Recently, an unpublicized agreement advanced the merger of the Canadian and U.S. military.

When the merger campaign started, the United States was way up here. Most of the rest of the world was way down there. How could you merge a country so far above the others? Obviously, you can?t. And you can?t bring those other countries up here. Only they can do that; only those other countries can raise themselves. The only way you could do it is to reduce the United States, bring it to its knees. You could merge this country with the others only if you lower it to their level.

When the nation is at par, you can merge it. Indeed, in classic Hegelian dialectical fashion, you can present the merger as the solution, as the way to end the panic.

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