Actions Taken in Response to Attacks on U.S. Government Personnel in Cuba


Che. photo courtesy of Fred Thomas, III

I am looking forward to my upcoming trip to Cuba in November.  It is  extremely important for me as I have been blessed to line up interviews with two pre-eminent scholars on topics I am covering, then Tillerson announces this!

No doubt, when traveling to another country, as citizens we rely on our State department to look out for our best interest.

I know folk who get sick drinking the water next door, or the person who loses their passport in another country!! yikes, or the person petrified to leave the neighborhood, let alone city or even the United States.

Thank god, I’m a little more calculating or willing to take measured risk.  The State department’s memorandum is quite clear, then again it is a bit nebulous depending on one’s perspective.

Even prior to the announcement,  within a trip already scheduled to be in DC, I had planned to visit the Cuba Embassy/Consulate.  My primary purpose is to get specifics on obtaining my travel visa which is needed for entry into Cuba.  My concern is the disparity in pricing of the tourist visa as if the true or only cost is $100 (from LAX) then, that is what it will be!!!  Period.  But, I need to justify the why, from a legitimate authority.

Now for those like me who are traveling to Cuba and also may be concerned about today’s State department announcement my suggestion is to do like I did.  Step back and think rationally, then since it is tough to contact the State Department for a real conversation, you are better off contacting your CONGRESSIONAL representative.  Mine was extremely knowledgeable and pleasant.  And yes, I received the information I am seeking.

Today’s State Department announcement is not a mandate or a directive but more of an alert.  So, while some may in fact cancel their trip, given my planning and familiarity of where I will be visiting, I am willing to take my chances and keep my schedule in place.  So, as of today I have a green light.

Listed below is the announcement by the State Department in response to the issues affecting the United States Embassy in Cuba.


Actions Taken in Response to Attacks on U.S. Government Personnel in Cuba

Remarks

Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 29, 2017

Over the past several months, 21 U.S. Embassy employees have suffered a variety of injuries from attacks of an unknown nature. The affected individuals have exhibited a range of physical symptoms, including ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues, and difficulty sleeping. Investigators have been unable to determine who is responsible or what is causing these attacks.

United States Embassy in Havana, Photo courtesy of Fred Thomas, III

On September 29, the Department ordered the departure of non-emergency personnel assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Havana, as well as all family members. Until the Government of Cuba can ensure the safety of our diplomats in Cuba, our Embassy will be reduced to emergency personnel in order to minimize the number of diplomats at risk of exposure to harm.

In conjunction with the ordered departure of our diplomatic personnel, the Department has issued a Travel Warning advising U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Cuba and informing them of our decision to draw down our diplomatic staff. We have no reports that private U.S. citizens have been affected, but the attacks are known to have occurred in U.S. diplomatic residences and hotels frequented by U.S. citizens. The Department does not have definitive answers on the cause or source of the attacks and is unable to recommend a means to mitigate exposure.

The decision to reduce our diplomatic presence in Havana was made to ensure the safety of our personnel. We maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba, and our work in Cuba continues to be guided by the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. Cuba has told us it will continue to investigate these attacks and we will continue to cooperate with them in this effort.

The health, safety, and well-being of our Embassy community is our greatest concern. We will continue to aggressively investigate these attacks until the matter is resolved.

The etiquette of Protesting: Respect or outright lack of Respect?


Students attending school are required to take United States history in the eighth grade.  The basic curriculum is intended to provide the fundamentals of how our government was created and how it has transitioned through the years.   Sadly, not everyone who took the class received a passing grade.  Or, perhaps they did at the time but as years have gone by they may have forgotten the basic tenets of what they learned, especially the facts of the United States constitution?

 

Protesting is a basic and fundamental privilege of citizenship. 

 

Protesting is a basic right covered in the first amendment.  It is very clear.  There is never a right time to protest.  The primary intent of protest is to raise awareness.  In doing so, some may feel institutions, symbols or things they view as sacred are being disrespected.  That is a false premise, especially with the Colin Kaepernik and the current NFL’s reaction.

Protest is meant to be disruptive.   Protesting is often non-violent, but it is not to be confused as a courteous gesture or something where the protestor’s say “excuse me.”

 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” First Amendment of the United States Constitution

 

 

Is Trump allowing Puerto Rico to be his “Katrina”?

 

The Colin Kaepernick protest started over a year ago.  Just this past week it picked up steam as Donald Trump felt it was his duty to admonish the NFL teams for showing support for Kaepernick and disrespecting the flag, the anthem and anything else determined by him to be patriotic.

 

 

In doing so, sadly Trump demonstrated his sheer ignorance of the first amendment.  His public outcry was done and played out while Puerto Rico and victims of the recent hurricanes are in desperate need for government intervention.    He has been stubborn to understand the genesis of the protest and instead has insisted the narrative he created is the truth; the protest disrespects the flag, the anthem and the military.

Worse, this week he and his administration have taken to the airwaves to report how well the recovery is going, specifically in Puerto Rico.  Unfortunately, reporters on the ground and spread over the island have been in stark contradiction to the administration’s assessment.

“They require policy guidance from the president on what he wants them to do,” Honore said while reacting to the administration’s slow response time. “I think that’s where the gap is. Should have been moving the military last Saturday, the president was out playing golf and twittering.” Lt.Colonel (retired) Russell Honoree

The question begs for many?  With human life at stake, why in the world is Trump so focused on the NFL and the player protest?  Yet, while he claims such patriotism, he has never served in the military and has taken glee in criticizing and making derogatory comments about those who indeed have served or who have lost loved ones while in military service!

Is this a diversion?   Has Trump found yet another wedge issue where people lose focus on his lack of legislative success?   Is it a coincidence that the majority of NFL players are African-American and the obvious factor of race is quite clear?  Football is a game.  The current situation in Puerto Rico is real life.  People have short memories but they tend to remember who was in office during natural disasters.    They remember their actions, as well as their inactions.

 

After hours of careful consideration, and even a visit from Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret and former NFL player, we came to the conclusion that we should kneel, rather than sit, the next day during the anthem as a peaceful protest. We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.  Colin Kaepernik, August 29, 2016

 

Facts get in the way

 

Whatever motivation Trump felt to unleash his tirade against the NFL players or his insistence to go on twitter spewing irritation of the protestor’s actions, history will be the ultimate judge.  The United States is replete with examples of those who staged protest and at the time suffered tremendous public scorn.  Yet, as time elapsed and their actions were better understood they took on martyrdom status and many are in the annals of historic figures.

 

The notion of Kaepernick disrespecting the flag might be a plausible conclusion or might make sense and convince the most patriotic person he is subject to treason.?   This becomes truer for those who support Trump and his ideology.  They refuse to accept anything contrary to what they believe, or have been told by Trump that it is the truth.  The problem and this is where so many who blindly follow others leave you shaking your head; Kaepernick got the suggestion to kneel and continue his protest from a decorated Green Beret, Nate Boyer!!!!  Now how patriotic can that be?  Kaepernick headed his advice and to the chagrin of many, to this day, they have a very positive relationship.  Why is this important?  Because Boyer has a better understanding of the privileges of the first amendment better than Trump or those like him who feel it is okay to dismiss this basic fact.  Why do they dismiss this fact?  It appears the narrative does not jive with the way they see things.

“Until that flag represents what it is meant to represent, ” Colin Kaepernick, August 29, 2016

Homework assignment

For Trump and those who support his position I would plead they do some homework and understand what and why was Colin Kaepernick protesting in the first place?   To be generous they will be given one week to turn in their assignment.  LOL.  Second, they must study protest movements and get a handle of the strategies used in protest movements?   Again, protest is not meant to be comfortable.  However, as mentioned many are very peaceful.

 

Who qualifies as the protest police?

Who among us can claim to be the authority on acceptable protest?  Donald Trump?  The Military?  Further, who can dictate which symbols we allegedly treasure within our society that are off-limits to protest?

While there are many traditions within our society that we treasure, over the years and surely with the Kaepernick incident those on the opposite side of whichever issue is being protest swear outright disrespect and crying foul by interpreting the actions as unacceptable.

The genesis of the Kaepernik protest

What is ironic is it appears the very people claiming the flag, the anthem or even the military is being trampled care very little of why Kaepernick protest in the first place.  If they did care, surely their position may be changed as why they still may have a problem with what they view as a sacred symbol, in the final analysis they would have to conclude Kaepernick and all those who took a knee or didn’t take a knee, stood or didn’t stand, clap or didn’t clap are well within the protections of our constitution.

Donald Trump takes great pride as a successful businessperson.  Some might conclude he is a master manipulator.  He appears to relish in the notion of speaking for “the America people.”   Perhaps, but over the past several years it has been documented his commentary is strategic in creating a divide.  Oftentimes the divide is on racial lines or to stoke discontent among various groups.    Yet, as mentioned those who support his ideology are swayed by the rhetoric being fomented and have been conditioned to marginalize any other perspective.

 

The Bottom-line

All you have to know is a person has the right to protest and does not require approval or permission! 

It is also your right or reaction to dismiss or despise the method of a person’s protest.  Just because you don’t approve of the method of protest, does not mean you are right and the protestor is wrong.  The first amendment gives protection for both positions.

 

It can’t be stressed enough, assuming you are truly seeking an objective analysis on protest that it you feel the person is protesting something you hold sacred, it is your right to not support them.  Period!  But, you must be very careful in maligning them as in the end, you wind up trying to dictate behavior.  So, you can’t claim allegiance to the Constitution while refusing the basic core of protest.

 

San Francisco Trek & Foodie Excursion


Iconic Twin Peaks is in the background

[San Francisco, CA]  Isn’t traveling or going to visit someplace the same as a trek?  In our world, there is a difference.  A trek is all about exploration or delving into areas that are not on the “beaten path.”  One more important element is unlike traveling or a vacation where you might have a healthy budget, trekking is a low-budget proposition (at least for us).

not for the weak or feeble. From the JB Villa…downhill across the pedestrian bridge to access the iron horse

In a city like San Francisco the congestion and lack of parking make driving near impossible.  You could literally spend three days driving around looking for parking spots!  So, instead to get around we planned our trek to include a combination of public transportation (BART, Iron-Horse), walking and sprinkled with a little Uber.

at Alamo Square park with famous “pink ladies” in the background

We have been going to San Francisco for decades.  The city is known for its eclectic flair and throughout the years its communities and businesses have gone through various renaissances.  So, the San Francisco you may have experienced may have a totally different look today.

 

Here is our presentation of a recent trek we accomplished over a three-day span.

 

Headed to law school in the mid 70’s I helped drive my friend from Southern California to San Francisco.  His apartment which was a great “flat” was named the JB Villa.  It was located in funky part of San Francisco known as the “Western Edition” in the Fillmore District.  About eight years ago the JB Villa was relocated to the toney Bernal Heights section of the Mission District.  So it was there were we rested and refreshed before heading in/out each day.

Scenes from “The Mission”

For this trek, our goal was to take in a few sites and experience several of the newer restaurants as well as some of the staples which are always part of our stay.

 

Da Young Museum (Golden Gate Park)

We had not been to Golden Gate Park in years.  In planning our trek, JB gave us a tip that checking out the Revelations exhibit was a rare find.

Union Square

Union Square is a staple for most visitors to the city.  It right in the heart of high-end shopping and for me a great place to people-watch and just chill out.

panorama view of shops bordering Union Square plaza

 

 

 

 

World Famous Ice Cream Museum

 

Market Street and the Civic Center

Civic Center plaza is an iconic venue in San Francisco.

Twitter Headquarters on Market Street

Foodie Excursion

 

The Old Clam House – The Mission District

Known as San Francisco’s oldest restaurant.  It is located on the fringe of the Mission District.  It has great funk and once inside you feel like going back in time, while being treated to some tasty dishes.

Iced Tea presentation
Their signature dish – Cippino
Sourdough bread

Eddie’s Soul Food Café   – The Western Edition/Fillmore District

The Western Edition in the Fillmore District was an African-American enclave.  Eddie’s was a small diner specializing in Louisiana type dishes.  Over the year as the face of the community changed and gentrification became a way of life, Eddie’s sold to new owners.  They were of Korean descent and agreed to keep the menu and the character of the restaurant.

 

 

Da Young Café – Da Young Museum/Golden Gate Park

The café is part of the museum complex.  A great place to relax and grab some refreshments.

Posole

Bayshore Taqueria – The Mission District

Your basic taqueria featuring a variety of Mexican dishes.

Taco Salad

 

Buttermilk Café Southern Cooking – The Mission District

Catering to southern style cuisine

Chicken & Waffles
Shrimp & Grits
Great Southern Style Cooking

Brenda’s French Soul Restaurant – The Tenderloin District

Catering to southern style cuisine with a flair of French cooking.

New Orleans Camilia’s red beans and rice
catfish poboy
french toast

Napa Farms Market / Tyler Florence at SFO

Judith sporting trendy tee from National Museum of African-American History and Culture

For those with a gourmet taste and who happen to be at terminal 2 of the San Francisco International Airport you will be right at home at Napa Farms Market which features many great dishes by Tyler Florence.

CITY RISING:  A 2017 look at Gentrification


Special Review

 

[Los Angeles, CA] On September 13th KCET in partnership with The California Endowment hosted the premiere screening of CITY RISING.  The theme of the documentary is gentrification.  An overflow crowd of nearly 700 was on hand to see the “Director’s Cut” which was 90 minutes.  Coincidently, on the same evening KCET showed the regular 60-minute screening on their channel.

If you’re black, get back!

If you’re brown, stick around!

If you’re white, it’s all right!

from an anonymous social scientist

 

Gentrification, a working understanding

Not every white person is rich and not every black person or those of color is poor!  One legacy of the history of the United States is the construct of racism or using race as a controlling factor.  On basic quality of life issues; from economic or the ability to earn money, to health, to housing and other areas whites were granted privilege over other groups.   Even today many attempt to dismiss this very basic fact of not understanding or accepting the issue in a historical context.

 

“He who gets behind in a race must forever stay behind or run faster than the man ahead of him, that is our dilemma” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 1961 

 

That privilege buffered by legal discrimination, including specific land covenants of who could buy land or live in certain communities which set in motion the premise of defining the American Dream as being able to afford a home.  Unfortunately, the dream dismissed the reality of certain groups being blocked based on race.

 

In addition to basic shelter, the more important benefit of home ownership is wealth accumulation or a legitimate asset which has generational benefits.  The lack of it, is one reason for the marginalization.

 

Inner cities, the target of gentrification

 

Following the great depression and leading up to the industrial revolution, cities throughout the U.S. witnessed an economic boon.  Labor was the fuel that fed the boon and many ethnic groups relocated and the result was financial uplift.  As the majority group or whites were enjoying the lions-share of the boon, they created the strategy in developing suburbs which allowed them to flee the urban core.  They were able to transfer their properties (through sale or renting) to the minority groups who remained.  Thus, the term “white flight” was coined.  More important and critical to the gentrification discussion is the reality that as whites moved out of the urban core, critical resources were stripped and went with them.   Employment stability left.  Stores left.  Services left.  Resources which are necessary for a community to thrive slowly disappeared.  The result was communities were disseminated and succumbed to blight and other negative forces.  As bad as that may appear the groups who remained didn’t die off.  Instead they created their own identity based on their culture to create a vibrancy which allowed them to thrive and redefine the space they occupied.

 

Reclamation

 

City Rising focuses on several communities in California.  They are Santa Ana, Long Beach, Sacramento, Oakland, Boyle Heights and South-Central Los Angeles.

 

One poignant part of the documentary is discussing the issue of racial covenants which made it illegal to sell property to certain groups.  Many people are ignorant to this reality and dismiss it as being made up or something which happened lifetimes ago.  The sad reality; it is current history regarding real estate ownership.  Assemblyman Hector De La Torre lives in South Gate, CA.  The discussion centered around him showing the covenant as part of the land title documentation which years earlier would have prevented him from purchasing the very home where he was being interviewed.    Even though the practice was outlawed through fair housing legislation, it remained as permanent language within the documentation.  Using his activism as a political leader he created a law which would have required title companies to remove the language from the report.  Unfortunately, even though the law passed, then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it and the language remained as a reminder of the discrimination meted out against certain groups.

 

The documentary does a good job in highlighting the effects of gentrification.  Even though race plays a huge role in its impact, the subtle reality is the class divide or the “haves versus the have nots.”

 

Cities that were once thought of as “dead” have sprung to life through various forms of reinvestment.  Interestingly many of the families who fled the urban core, see their offspring take on a renewed pioneering spirit to reclaim areas.  With their economic status, they are able to pick up properties, many on the cheap and with modest investment, transform what was unthinkable into havens of a new lifestyle.  Through this process and focus on redevelopment they are able to attract stores and services which provide a great opportunity, assuming one has the money to operate.

 

People can only buy your property if you agree to sell

 

Who doesn’t want to live in a “nice” neighborhood?  The problem with gentrification and this is where CITY RISING shines is as new people reclaim or move back into neighborhoods,  the issue is what happens to the current occupants?  Do they just disappear?  Do they escape in the middle of the night?  For many it’s pure economic, especially the vast majority who are renters.  Those who reclaim properties and invest in the restoration are not motivated by some benevolent gesture, but from an economic perspective so it boils down to return on investment.  The result is the rise of home prices as well as the rise of rents.  Many occupants simply become priced out and that is the ire of those who oppose gentrification.  The community they thought they knew……no longer exist, so they must rebuild their lives or try to coexist with their “new neighbors.”    Some do it very successfully, most don’t because they do not have the leverage of home ownership.

 

There is much more to this topic.  The causes and effects are worthy of examination.  This documentary does an excellent job in creating a foundation for you to move forward.

 

See the documentary HERE.

The one bank indicted from the mortgage crisis of 2008


The mortgage or housing crisis erupted across the nation in 2008 and crippled the U.S. economy.  Institutions, companies, cities, communities and individuals were not spared its devastation.  Even though recovery was a painful process and total restoration is a fleeting hope for many, it was felt those responsible, especially the well-known companies and their corporate leadership would eventually be held responsible for their involvement.

 

Shockingly, of all those who may have been involved in the nuances of mortgage lending and whose decisions resulted in historic loses, only one bank was indicted by the federal government.  Abacus Federal Savings and Loan headquartered in New York was dealt the wrath of selling fraudulent loans to the Federal National Mortgage Association (FANNIE MAE).

 

Too Big to Fail

You remember the panic, the desperation and the commentary from our political leadership? Most had never heard the phrase, “too big to fail!”  They would quickly learn it was akin to one of the great Chick Hearn phrases in announcing a basketball game, “no harm, no foul.” That basically meant that even though a foul may have been committed by the opposing player, it was not deemed worthy of declaring a foul or infraction.

2008 photo Ben Bernake, President George Bush & Hank Paulson

Instead, countless banks and mortgage originators were fined billions by various regulators, however there was no criminal prosecution as was the case with Abacus.  Even today there are many raw nerves, emotions and opinions when the topic of the mortgage crisis is discussed.  The how and why of Abacus being targeted raises more questions than it answers.  In 2016 a film about the plight of Abacus and impending trial was released.  Frontline, which specializes in showing documentaries on the public broadcasting network platform released the television version on September 12, 2017.

This spread the danger of risky mortgage loans, systematizing the housing market’s risks throughout the global financial system.23 These developments occurred in an environment characterized by minimal government oversight and regulation and depended on a perpetually low-interest rate environment where housing prices continued to rise and refinancing remained a viable option to continue borrowing.  When the housing market stalled and interest rates began to rise in the mid-2000s, the wheels came off, leading to the 2008 financial crisis.

Low hanging fruit

Abacus was eventually vindicated as the government was not able to prove their case.   Whatever your thoughts are about the crisis or your familiarity of the case, you ponder and ask what was so unique about Abacus that the government thought them to be “the poster of criminal intent and deemed a responsible party?”  There were so many well-known companies that were involved in the crisis.  As a matter of fact, each day lenders were imploding right before our eyes.  No doubt, they represented low hanging fruit that even a rookie prosecutor could attempt to give the public some sense of relief through indictments..  Yet, absent those who managed to survive and keep the doors open, their core penalty as mentioned was having regulatory fines levied against them.    From their perspective, dealing with a fine was much better than going out of business or worse, having to spend time in jail or prison.

 

Abacus goes down in history by being the only bank or mortgage lender to suffer the fate of being indicated and having to go through a full trial.

 

 

You can access the full film by clicking HERE

Belize – celebrating 36 years of independence


Congratulations to Mr. Roland Yorke, Consul General of Belize, staff and supporters, Office of Consulate General of Belize to California for the 36th Anniversary of Independence and the 219th Anniversary Battle of St. George’s Caye.

Los Angeles is home to more than 125,000 who hail from Central America’s smallest and only english speaking country; BELIZE.   The event is a testament of their hard work to leverage the various community groups to help those in the motherland, whose population is estimated at 300,000.

A complete copy of the souvenir booklet can be found on the link below.

belize st. george caye celeb 982017

BELIZEAN INDEPENDENCE DAY – SEPT. 21ST

Mortgage rates slip to lowest point of the year


Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Mortgage rates which have been sliding during the past several months reached their lowest point of 2017.  As reported by the weekly Freddie Mac Primary Market Rate Survey, the benchmark 30-year mortgage dropped another four basis points in week over week reporting and came in at 3.780%

The dip was attributed to the 10-year treasury yield which also fell to new lows at 2.061%.  Of all financial indicators which influence mortgage movement, it is the 10-year treasury yield which is the most predominant.  At the beginning of the year there was much optimism that the Trump Administration could jumpstart economic growth and inflation by cutting taxes and regulations.  However, with the administration not being able to claim any legislative victories investors are wondering whether they have the will to move the economy at a faster pace.

The effect

Rates are cyclical and will not always drop, however the recent national disaster of hurricane Harvey will have an effect in consumers applying and qualifying for mortgage.  Low mortgage numbers are great but you still have to be able to qualify based on your credit and condition of the property being used as collateral.  One of the first economic data points of Harvey was the BLS report reflecting unemployment claims.   The report showed that claims jumped 62,000 from week over week reporting and came in at the highest level since 2015.  That is worth mentioning as there as several more hurricanes, with equal or greater strength which is slated to hit the United States within the next several days.

 

READ THE REPORT HERE

Based on Harvey and other pending hurricane’s which primarily affect regional economics, consumers can expect a broader impact resulting in rates remaining at their current level.  The big question is with all that is going on, can consumers switch gears and be concerned about mortgage money?

Current rates

September 7, 2017 (based on Freddie Mac weekly rate survey)

30-Yr FRM 15-Yr FRM 5/1-Yr ARM
Average Rates 3.78% 3.08% 3.15%
Fees & Points 0.5 0.5 0.4
Margin N/A N/A 2.74

Mortgage rates continue to dip as do employment numbers


For most the quarter mortgage rates have been below 4%.  There has been a steady drip in week over week reporting and currently they ended August at 3.820%, which was down four basis points from the previous week.  The rate reported is for the benchmark 30-year Fixed Rate mortgage.  A full recap of popular programs is listed below:

August 31, 2017 (Freddie Mac Primary Market Rate Survey)

30-Yr FRM 15-Yr FRM 5/1-Yr ARM
Average Rates 3.82% 3.12% 3.14%
Fees & Points 0.5 0.5 0.5
Margin N/A N/A 2.74

 

As more consumers are purchasing homes or refinancing their existing mortgages, tighter competition for affordable mortgage money could be the result.  Thus, experts suggest the trend may reverse as rates move higher.  Of course, that is the projection but for now the current rate range appears stable.

 

Rates for the most recent week were posted Thursday or August 31st.  However, on Friday, September 1st the Bureau of Labor Statistics released monthly employment numbers for August.  While many were jubilant that July’s numbers exceeded expectations, August numbers brought them back to reality as there were 156,000 new jobs reported.  That number was a sharp reduction from July, and way below the 2016 monthly average of 187,000 new jobs.

 

Harvey

 

Of course, with the disaster of hurricane Harvey and other regional issues both mortgage and employment data should see some immediate adjustments.  Construction employment surely will see a pick-up, however in the Texas region there is some concern as industry experts peg undocumented construction labor at nearly thirty percent.  Based on the Trump administration unpopular focus on building “the wall” and removing undocumented people from the United States, many from that population are petrified of being targeted resulting in their unwillingness to come forward and perform jobs they have done prior to the attention of their plight.  The bottom line is if these workers are unavailable the cost of recovery will be much higher.