May 20, 2007

More Immigration News Old Media Thinks You Can’t Use: Swift Returns to Full Staffing Levels

If you believe the hype from the open-borders crowd about how illegal immigrants “are doing jobs other won’t do,” you would have to wonder how this ever happened (the following is from a May 11 company press release):

Swift & Company Announces Return of Standard Staffing Levels at All Four Domestic Beef Processing Facilities

Pork Processing Facilities Resumed Normal Production in March

Swift & Company today reported its return to standard staffing levels at all four domestic beef processing facilities after the detention and removal, on December 12, 2006, of approximately 950 Swift Beef employees by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) division.

The December 2006 ICE event also involved two Swift Pork processing facilities. As the Company announced on April 10, 2007, Swift’s domestic pork operations returned to normal levels in March 2007. ICE detained and removed a total of nearly 1,300 Swift Beef and Swift Pork employees during the December 2006 event.

A terse Associated Press story on the announcement that gained very little circulation made sure to remind us that “Operations at Swift plants in Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and Hyrum, Utah, were suspended for several hours on Dec. 12 while immigration agents arrested 1,217 workers. No company managers have been charged.”

Somehow, AP “forgot” to tell us that, as reported by the Greeley, Colorado Tribune the previous week (requires free registration), that at just one of the facilities involved:

….. 261 warrants (were issued) for workers in Greeley who were using other people’s Social Security numbers or names to gain employment at Swift. It was unclear how the workers obtained those identities.

ICE discovered the identity thefts after victims from different parts of the country reported suspicious changes in their credit. Some people received Social Security statements that showed a history of employment at Swift, but the victims had never worked there.

Back to the main topic — How did Swift manage to find all those (presumably legal) workers? A One News Now story has what will be a “surprising” answer for the economic wing of the open-borders lobby:

Steve Elliot is president of Grassfire.org, an organizing center for conservative activists. He is calling the company’s achievement the “Swift Miracle.”

….. Swift had no problem finding people to fill the positions formerly held by illegal aliens, the Grassfire.org spokesman contends. “Just a few months after they were busted by government officials, they had no problem filling those positions with Americans who are willing to do those jobs and earn a living in the meat-packing industry,” he says.

Elliot insists the meat company’s story completely debunks the argument by advocates for open borders that the U.S. government must give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens in the country. “[T]his just blows holes in one of the biggest arguments of the amnesty agenda: that illegals are coming here to do jobs Americans won’t do,” he adds. “It’s simply not true,” he says; “Americans will do these jobs if given the opportunity.”

Thanks to the “Swift Miracle,” Eliot says, those who support the open borders/amnesty agenda can no longer use the jobs excuse to justify the flood of illegal immigrants into the U.S.

The filling of the Swift jobs is yet another against-the-grain immigration-related story that Old Media has downplayed. Yet it “somehow” has found the time and attention for:
- “Swift raids leave immigrant families separated”
- “Impact of Swift raid still being felt
- “Greeley mayor urges changes in ICE raids
- “Somali Workers Quit Over Prayer Dispute” (at a Swift plant)

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Note: An unexcerpted paragraph in the One News Now story contains claims by Elliot that “Swift is reporting in the company’s own quarterly report “that they are ‘up to normal production levels’ and that their operational and cost position has improved.”

Those claims are incorrect. The company’s related April 10 press release (PDF converted to HTML) says that “US Pork Operations (are) Back at Normal Levels …. (and) US Beef Operations (are) On Track to Return by Summer,” and only notes that “multiple operational and cost position improvements are under way, and we are beginning to realize the benefits of those programs.” No favorable or unfavorable comparison to the company’s previous cost position is made. Nothing in the 10-Q Quarterly report contradicts that statement in the press release.

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Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Robert Who? Global Warming Skeptic CEO Virtually Ignored

Kimberley Strassel’s OpinionJournal.com column about coal-mine operator Robert E. Murray of Murray Energy is important on a number of levels.

You haven’t heard of Robert E. Murray? That’s not surprising.

If there were an open dialog instead of continual blather about “settled science” when it comes to supposedly human-induced “climate change” and “global warming” (two concepts I like to collectively refer to as “globaloney”), Murray would have visibility. But, as Strassel writes, a different “climate,” the political one, appears to be keeping him largely out of the public eye, despite his best efforts to break through.

You see, Robert Murray is a coal-company executive who has first-hand experience with what will happen on a much broader scale if the radical changes envisioned by Al Gore and others (whom I like to refer to as “globalarmists”) ever get enacted:

….. (Murray) employs about 3,000, although he estimates that if you look at all the secondary jobs created to provide goods and services for miners, his company has helped create some 36,000 jobs.

Those jobs are top of Mr. Murray’s list of concerns, and he’s been determined to make people hear about them. At a recent speech to the New York Coal Trade Association ….. Mr. Murray recalled what happened in his region after the 1990 Clean Air Act, which imposed drastic reductions in coal production: “In Ohio alone, from 1990 to 2005, nearly 120 mines were shut down, costing more than 36,000 primary and secondary jobs. These impacted areas have spent years recovering, and some never will. Families broke up, many lost homes, and some were impoverished . . .” He finishes the thought by noting that a global warming program would make those prior coal cuts look like small potatoes.

The attempts to marginalize Mr. Murray are all too real:

….. it’s a measure of just how big an irritant he’s become to global-warming politicians and their new buddies in the energy industry, that when Mr. Murray was invited to impart his wisdom to Congress at a hearing in March, Democrats tried to keep him from testifying. They later gave in, although Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa pointedly left the room when it was Mr. Murray’s turn to testify.

Had Mr. Costa bothered to stay, he’d have heard a useful, and irrefutable, analysis of just what today’s legislative proposals for a global warming program would mean to the economy, including the nation’s many miners. “Some 52% of this country’s electricity is generated from coal,” Mr. Murray says. “Global warming legislation would place arbitrary limits on the use of coal, yet there’s nothing to replace it at the same cost. There’s nuclear, but the environmentalists killed it off and aren’t about to let it come back. There’s hydro, but we’re using that everywhere we can already. There’s natural gas, but supply and pipeline capacity is limited, and it’s three times the cost of coal. Politically correct–and subsidized ‘alternative energy’ is very limited in capability and also expensive.

“So what you are really doing with a global warming program is getting rid of low-cost energy,” he says. The consequences? Americans have been fretting about losing jobs to places such as China or India, which already offer cheaper energy. “You hike the cost of energy here further, and you create a mass exodus of business out of this country.” Especially so, given that neither of those countries is about to hamstring its own economy in order to join a Kyoto-like accord.

“Inconvenient truths,” indeed, whether Mr. Costa wants to hear them or not. You will not be surprised to learn that I have found no “Congressman Walks out of Hearing” story about Costa’s rude behavior.

But Murray criticism isn’t only aimed at the politicians and the scientific herd:

….. his favorite subject …..(is) his fellow energy executives and the role they are playing in encouraging a mandatory C02 program. “There is this belief that since even some in the energy industry are now on board with a program, that it must be okay. No one is looking at these executives’ real motives.”

(Carbon trading ….. has nothing to do with creating ‘regulatory certainty,’ which is how they like to sell their actions. This has to do with creating money, for their companies, off the back of an economy that will be paying more for its energy.”

Mr. Murray reserves special criticism for those companies that have joined the high-profile U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition pushing for mandatory controls on greenhouse gas emissions. “Some of them see profits ….. But none of it is good for America.”

He says that if these companies think the good times will last, they’ve been smoking their own products. ….. They are focused on short-term profits, and maybe it’s true that a cap-and-trade program will help them with their next earnings statement. What they won’t acknowledge is that, once a cap-and-trade program is in effect, the politicians will want to keep lowering, lowering, lowering the cap. That means fewer and fewer allowances. In the long term, this will starve American energy–though that isn’t something they are telling their shareholders.

Despite his congressional testimony, frequent TV and radio appearances, and critical letters to other energy-industry executives, Mr. Murray is an Old Media non-entity. Google News searches tell the tale (all typed as indicated):

The only relevant results returned are Strassel’s column, a May 15 guest column by Murray (“The Human Impact of Anti-warming Legislation”) at Wall Street Journal affiliate MarketWatch.com (requires free registration), and a reasonably balanced article on Murray with statements from both sides of the debate in Southeastern Ohio’s twice-weekly Athens (OH) News.

Robert Murray’s invisibility indicates that Old Media is more interested in foisting globaloney on the public than it is in presenting all sides of the debate — particularly those that involve what the full globalarmists’ agenda would really cost if it were ever implemented.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: Sands Springs pastor grateful after learning of Falwell’s support

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:01 am

In early 2006, Jerry Falwell wrote of the threat of eminent domain hanging over the Centennial Baptist Church in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. It wasn’t until after his death that Centennial’s pastor learned of Falwell’s unsolicited advocacy:

SAND SPRINGS — The pastor of a small black church in Sand Springs never met or talked to the Rev. Jerry Falwell, but Falwell wrote about the preacher in his “Listen America” column posted on the Internet.

In January 2006, Falwell wrote that Sand Springs was threatening to use eminent domain to tear down the Rev. Roosevelt Gildon’s Centennial Baptist Church to make way for a shopping plaza.

“I’ve never met Rev. Gildon — or ‘Rosey’ as his friends call him — but as a pastor of nearly 50 years, I can imagine the feeling of helplessness this man must be experiencing. … This is an alarming development, one that should send shivers down the spine of any pastor reading this column,” Falwell wrote.

Contacted Tuesday after Falwell’s death had been made public, Gildon said he was not aware of Falwell’s column and had no idea the prominent minister and conservative crusader had championed his church’s cause.

“I thank God that the pastors that have larger churches and the media attention have the gumption to stand up and say something,” Gildon said.

In his column, Falwell said he planned to pray for the Oklahoma pastor and his beleaguered church.

“In the meantime, my prayers are with Rev. Gildon and his congregation,” Falwell wrote. “They should be afforded the right to remain at their present location so that they can serve God and fully minister to their community.”

Tuesday, Gildon said the church has not heard anything recently about the proposed shopping plaza. He said he was just pleasantly surprised that a minister of Falwell’s stature took an interest in the issue.

“I thank God that he spoke up. Now, we need other people to step up and say this is wrong.”