Immigration Reform Sounds Great, But Get It Right

English: Benjamin Franklin National Memorial i...

Benjamin Franklin National Memorial in the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

Immigration Reform is finally front and center in our national debate, no thanks to a feckless President unwilling to show his hand in this controversial debate. A group of republican and democratic Senators have come forward with a framework for a bill they hope to write, then pass on to the GOP controlled House by Spring. It’s a noble effort that will only become law if priorities are straight. And so far I’ve not seen evidence that their priorities are straight. So far, the only priority I’ve seen bantered about is the news medias claim the Republicans might come on board due to their desire for Hispanic votes. How’s that sit with you for integrity?

Estimates place the number of illegal aliens in this country at 11 million persons. 40% of these immigrants came to the country legally and over-stayed their visas. 80% of these illegals came from Mexico or some Latin nation. All of them place heavy burdens on our countries resources; jobs, welfare, schools, hospitals, justice system, etc. It’s a blight on the country and a serious threat to both economic recovery and deficit spending. And unless the problem is solved there is no hope of it getting better. It will only get worse. So some compromise, in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin, seems in order.

One of our countries greatest statesmen was the Philadelphia printer who almost singlehandedly brought the French into the Revolutionary War, and through an established aura pressed authors of our Federal Constitution to accord. The 81-year old Franklin urged his fellow delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention to be willing to sacrifice, not their principles, but their overwhelming urge to be right.

Franklin said that day that through his long life, he had often been forced

“by better information or fuller consideration to change opinions . . . which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others.”

Details of the proposed immigration reform plan can be read in detail here, in the ABC News story: Details of the Immigration Plan.

What has always been the sticking point is what to do with the 11-million illegals already in this country. Hard liners insist they not get “amnesty”. But lets face it. Such a stance is both un-American and cruel. Americans grant amnesty all the time. It was written into the Constitution that Franklin worked so hard on. But Liberal Democrats have never wanted to face the reality of Republican priorities first: secure the border and remove the magnets. Granting illegals a path to citizenship is absolutely fine with me. But first things first. The border must be secured and allowing illegals to suck-up every welfare and entitlement program this country offers will not diminish the uncontrolled flow of illegal immigrants into this country. It will, in fact, accelerate it.

I’ve never understood why Democrats failed to understand that the jobs and benefits taken by illegals more drastically affect people who statistically tend to be Democratic voters. When you employ a Spanish-speaking person to cook your hamburgers, lay your carpet or install your new roof you aren’t taking a job from some college educated intellectual. You are taking a job from the least educated in our society, and far too often that person is black. When you provide a Section 8, or welfare home, to an illegal Mexican family you aren’t shutting out that home from a Stanford University grad and their kids. The American family who needs the warmth and security of that shelter is poor and ill-educated.

The current compromise proposal calls for more border agents and security monitoring using unmanned drones before any amnesty is granted. This sounds like a step in the right direction. It also proposes stream-lining the legal immigration process to make it easier to come into this country than the current nightmarish system. It also allows for more immigrants to legally come during times of economic growth and slow immigration during times of no or slow growth. Again, good ideas.

American Civil Liberties Union

The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, has already come out against a registration plan allowing background checks for employers to see if potential new hires are legal residents in this country. They have an excellent point. A national ID card program, which this plan would certainly require, is an infringement on the implied Constititional right to privacy. But the problem can be easily solved by making the Federal Background check program and registration voluntary. If employers choose not to use it and are found to have hired illegals penalize them with such severe consequences that they would be unwise to not use it.

At the turn of the 20th Century and just before, this country was being overwhelmed by new immigrants. But at that time you were not allowed into this country without a sponsor and without a desirable skill. That too would seem to be a standard in our own national interests.

I don’t expect this bill to go anywhere. Because while I hope and expect Republicans to compromise on the “path to citizenship” issue; I expect Democrats to use the poor Hispanics/Latinos in this country as they continue to use the blacks in this country as political footballs with which to perpetually bash the GOP and subsequently remain in power. It’s not solutions they want. They’ll paint the Republicans reasonable positions regarding border security first as too tough and inhumane. And in doing so the complicit media will again drive more Latinos into the hands of their overseers, the Democratic party.

Are Men Al Bundy or John McClain

June and Ward Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley and...

June and Ward Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont). 

 

A trend begun in the 1980s in this country is to portray men as either clowns or unimaginable macho freaks. No where do you see images of strong and wise men worthy of respect. We’ve come a long way from Ward Cleaver of the Leave it to Beaver 1950s TV show. The end result is a diminishment of men and their roles in society. More women occupy jobs in our country for the first time in history. More women earn college degrees now, than do men. And it’s time to examine if this is a good thing; and if not what to do about it.

 

I want to head-off-at-the pass any hyper-sensitive types who will polish their indignation hormones by claiming I’m longing for society to revert to the times of Leave it to Beaver. This silly claim was heard about Republicans throughout the 2012 political season as Democrats repeatedly claimed a false “War on Women” that does not exist. And, by the way, if it does exist its a battle its advocates are losing terribly as evidenced by the facts already sited in this blog.

 

Popular cultures examples of men who portrayed characters of a “real life” world 40-50 years ago include Ward Cleaver,

 

TV Guide #203

 

Robert Young in Father Knows Best,

 

Cropped screenshot of Fred MacMurray from the ...

Fred MacMurray 

 

Fred MacMurray in My Three Sons,

 

The Andy Griffith Show

The Andy Griffith Show

 

 

 

Publicity photo of Andy Griffith and Don Knott...

 

Andy Griffith in the Andy Griffith Show. My childhood television example of manliness and being a good, wise, strong father was Mike Brady on the Brady Bunch.

 

The Brady Bunch opening grid, season one

 

It wasn’t until decades later we all learned that Robert Reed, the actor portraying Mike Brady was gay. And while not significant toward my point; it is an interesting, quirky twist in the examples I sight.

 

Al Bundy

Al Bundy 

 

The clownish, oafish Al Bundy of Married with Children fame became the standard example of an American Dad through the 1990s. Another example of a “man” and a husband and father in popular culture was John McClain, played by Bruce Willis in the Die hard movie series. He was wise cracking, and tough and leaping from sky scrapers and crashing trucks and cars and shooting dealy, evil villains. The problem with this is neither of the examples are worth exemplifying as what a man and/or father ought to be. Bundy was completely dorkish and without many positive qualities, and

 

Bruce Willis as Hartigan.

 

McClain was totally unrealistic, not to mention too violent.

 

I don’t pine for the days of the little woman being bound to the kitchen, cooking, cleaning, and being nearly completely subservient to the man. And I certainly don’t wistfully wish for the days of racism and segregation imposed on the racial minorities of this country back in the “good ‘ol days”.

 

But I do wish I could see in pop culture more examples of honorable men. Clowns are fine as are heroic macho gun toting crime stoppers. But what’s wrong with having positive male role models being displayed in our tv and movie entertainment? What’s wrong with Leave it to Beaver? Or Mike Brady for that matter?

 

Uncommon Friends and What You Can Do Together

uncommon-friends-life-with-thomas-edison-henry-ford-james-d-newton-paperback-cover-art

A book I have yet to read and has long been on my GET list is called Uncommon Friends: Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel and Charles Lindbergh. It is a 1987 publication that tells the story of the close life-long friendship that existed between these five extraordinarily accomplished men as well as James Newton the book’s author.

It has long been my belief that if you surround yourself with enough good people and discard the folks in your life who have a negative influence on you, you can’t help but be successful. These five men written about in Uncommon Friends could hardly be higher in achievement. Ford, Lindbergh, and Edison need no introduction to anyone educated beyond the 6th grade. Alexis Carrel and Harvey Firestone are less familiar historical figures, but nonetheless accomplished. Alexis Carrel was a French surgeon and biologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1912 for pioneering vascular suturing techniques.  Harvey Samuel Firestone was an American businessman, and the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, one of the first global makers of automobile tires, and early investor in Henry Ford’s Ford Motor Company. These men set high goals for themselves and met regularly through life to discuss how to accomplish them.

It’s not an uncommon thing to have friends who together and/or separately accomplish great things. I believe it’s not unlike a leaf on the water being caught up in the wake of a fast-moving rowboat or canoe and subsequently moving along the surface of the water at the same speed as the boat…at least for a moment. I frequently take my canoe to nearby lakes where I fish; though, rather than a leaf I’m far more familiar with a lily pad getting caught…not in my wake…but in my fishing line.

My family is blessed to have several extraordinary people, who have impressive, even great accomplishments on their resume’s. For a middle-aged guy, with a middle-income life, from a lower middle-income single parent upbringing my connections to greatness or near greatness are, I believe, unusual. My brother, just one year older than I, is a millionaire several times over. He travels the world. He sets up companies for public stock offerings hopping from company to company collecting stocks and equity as he goes. My sister-in-law is an attorney at Microsoft. She’s educated at Cal-Berkley. And has made quite a name for herself in Seattle philanthropic circles. My father-in-law, George Fleming, is a University of Washington legend. He was awarded MVP of the 1961 Rose Bowl while leading the Huskies to a surprise victory over then Number 1 rated Wisconsin. He followed that with a 25 year career in the Washington State Legislature.

But despite my family connections and their accomplishments my wife and I are not unlike most people. We are on our own. And while grateful for all the support and help we’ve received over our 25 year marriage, what we have accomplished or failed to accomplish comes strictly from our own efforts. We’ve never hitched our wagon to another high-flyer and joined them for the ride.

I thought of the connection between high achievers recently since I had a difficult decision to make. My wife and I got into the direct-sales industry through an incredible company called, AdvoCare, only 4-5 months prior to this writing. We did so after first enjoying the benefits of using the AdvoCare nutritional products. They were fantastic and literally changed my life and the life of my wife. Our health has not been so good since decades before. In determining that we would try representing AdvoCare we agreed to give it 3-6 months of effort. If the company, the products and the income were worth continued effort after that then we’d certainly give it.

A trip to AdvoCare Success School in Dallas, Texas in mid-February is fast approaching. Finances are tight. And if I am to go to Success School I’d first have to determine, in conjunction with my wife, that we did want to continue working AdvoCare as a business. And secondly, I’d have to figure out how to pay for the trip. Because though my company, Total Broadcasting Service, is and has always been profitable in its 8 years and my wife makes a good living outside of our company, the economy of 2009-2011 impacted us to the tune of high credit card debts. And catching up is tough. A trip to Dallas and two-day hotel stay would just mean more credit card debt.

We made the decision to go, to make the trip, to incur the debt and to continue to help people by introducing more and more of them to AdvoCare, in part because of my belief in our friends who got us into AdvoCare. (I’m not sure they’d want me to use their name’s publicly here. So I won’t. But contact me and I’ll tell you all about them) My friend, to whom I refer is someone I’ve known since shortly after he got out of college. In age, he’s about 10 years my junior. I worked with him for several years at the same company. I only met his wife in the past year. But it’s clear that she, like him is special. And I intend to benefit from the association. I intend to be taken up in their wake and pretty soon make my own wake.

My wife and I live what most would term an upper middle class lifestyle. But we can do a lot better. By better I mean more income, more vacation time, more money to help our grown kids, more time and money to help and care for more people, and a freedom to do things we cannot currently envision. My friend may not be Thomas Edison or Henry Ford or Charles Lindbergh. But then again. He might be. And if he is I intend to gain from it.

Some cliche`s come to mind: Familiarity breeds contempt. And A prophet is never known in his own land. Too often we allow familiarity to blind us to a person’s true greatness and thus deny ourselves of that which is great about a person because we know what aspects about them or their history aren’t great. When you do so you only hurt yourself.

Thanks for listening. Comments are welcome.

Why Can’t We Realize SH*T Happens?

English: This is the semi-automatic civilian v...

20 people, 16 kids, are shot and killed in Connecticut. A horrible crime perpetrated by a mentally challenged young man who got hold of his mother’s legally bought and owned guns. Prior to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School the killer (we won’t mention his name here, ever) killed his mother at their home. And around the country voices are heard screaming, “We must do something! We can’t let this happen again”.  My question is, why? Why do we have to do something?

Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial

Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial

This country is a reactionary country and no politician has ever met a tragedy they wouldn’t or couldn’t exploit. But just like the bumper sticker I’m going say, “Shit Happens“.  I’m sorry if that sounds insensitive. I’m just as hurt and was emotionally troubled by the killing last December 14, 2012 as most people. It sickened me. I prayed and asked others to pray. The idea of all those young children being senselessly shot caused me tears and frustration. But ultimately as a country why scream, “Something must be done!” Why?

Why can’t we accept the fact that this killer had a mother who devoted her life to her son, tried the best she could but ultimately this 20-year-old kid was too much for her and was crazy and finally went off; and he did this horrible crime? Why can’t we accept the fact that we can’t stop every crazed killer from killing? If they want to kill and die they’re going to do so and we are not going to be able to stop them. Shit Happens.

The Connecticut killer stole legally purchased weapons from his mother. The Colorado movie theater killer bought his weapons after passing the legally required background check allowing him to do so. The Portland Mall shooter (from the same week as Sandy Hook) used a stolen weapon. No Assault Weapons Ban or criminal background check stopped these killers, nor would any new legislation along similar lines.

One of the photographs of Seung-Hui Cho that h...

One of the photographs of Seung-Hui Cho that he sent to NBC News on the day of the massacre

The Virginia Tech massacre of 2007 also involved a crazy man. Seung-Hui Cho (age 23) shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others. And he did it using hand guns which would never have been banned under the previous or currently proposed assault weapons ban. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban signed by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994 lasted ten years before expiring. We’re not talking about a few months or a couple of years. The ban was in effect for ten years. And yet, nearly every study of it found it ineffective in deterring or diminishing gun violence.

FBI mugshot of Timothy McVeigh.

FBI mugshot of Timothy McVeigh.

Timothy McVeigh didn’t even need a gun to commit his horrible crime. He just needed a U-Haul truck and some fertilizer. McVeigh’s 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City killed 168 people and injured 800 more. No gun was used. Until he detonated his improvised bomb no law had been broken. And no law should exist that prohibits the purchase of fertilizer and the renting of a U-Haul truck. We all just have to accept, Shit Happens.

One week after the Sandy Hook shooting the NRA responded by proposing that every school in this country should be staffed by an armed, trained, security guard. They were roundly criticized by the anti-gun crowd and do you know why? Those lobbying for a greater number of 2nd Amendment infringements said of the National Rifle Associations proposal that it would “cost too much”. Really? Cost too much? How’s that for hypocrisy? President Obama has said repeatedly, including this week during his Press Conference on Monday, that “If there is one step we can take to save one child’s life then we should do it”. I guess he should have added, “unless we’re talking about spending real money”.

The City of Chicago was sighted by the President as the model for gun laws throughout the United State‘s. Chicago led the nation last year with over 500 murders, most of them by guns. Democrats don’t really want to do anything about problems with guns. They just want to appear to a naive public that they are doing something, while they can wink and nod at the gun lobby who helps them pass useless and toothless legislation to placate that ignorant public.

The fact is tragedies like the Sandy Hook massacre will happen and short of repealing the 2nd Amendment and taking away all our guns they’ll happen again. Shit Happens. But the 2nd Amendment won’t be repealed any time in my lifetime because too many Americans have guns, over 310 million guns are known to be owned in the U.S. by law-abiding citizens. It’s a practical impossibility to somehow think you’re going to get them all, or anything close to them all.

We need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. Period. End of discussion. Find out how to do that and most Americans will shout “Hallelujah”.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

 

Put Content on Your Social Media Pages then Get on With Your Day

Facebook logo reduced

I’ve seen it before and I always find it interesting. When my Facebook business page for my audio and video production company, Total Broadcasting Service, gets ignored the number of people seeing and viewing it and subsequently learning of and being reminded of my company, its products and services, diminishes. So learn from my experience and make certain that every day something gets posted on your business page. It only takes a moment. But being consistent with your efforts will pay off over time in the one area you desire more, more customers, and more money.

Total Broadcasting Service Insights to start new year.

Total Broadcasting Service Insights to start new year.

The graph above is from the Insights Facebook provides for administrators of business pages. This shows the activity on my company’s business page from roughly December 20th through January 12th. My company is Total Broadcasting Service (please like us on Facebook). I didn’t work between Friday December 21st and New Years Eve December 31st. In that ten-day span only seven posts were loaded onto the company’s Facebook page, three of those on December 28th, which represents the bottom of the graph’s downturn and the beginning of its upturn. The difference in interest on the page is dramatic.

Our practice, which we do a pretty good job of observing, is to post something onto the Total Broadcasting Facebook page every day Monday through Saturday. At least one per day is easy and never time-consuming. If you run a business this is what you ought to be doing. And you should be doing it not only on Facebook but anywhere you have a business presence on Social media. If you are on Twitter, or on Pinterest or on LinkedIn you are making a mistake by not making your presence known daily. Consider this your minimum effort.

Inc Magazine published a study in November 2011 saying a survey of consumers found 7 or 10 of them were more likely to patronize a business or business person who had a social media presence than someone who does not. And that was 15 months ago! You can be sure that the influence of the internet and social media has only grown since then.

Where business owners and or people fail on social media is by failing to be consistent. Yes, they may have a presence on Facebook and other sites but if they remain static with no activity you might as well not have a profile/business page at all.

Your posts can be a simple as “Have a great Monday!”, to elaborately planned online contests. More important than the content is to do something. Worrying about content is for another post.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.