The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

I’M NOT MY BROTHER’S KEEPER – Part II

Looking at Solutions for the Problems of our Time

In Part I of this piece I touched on the affects of Illegal Immigration on our nation, including the “Hispanification” of America, Buchanan’s solution, and their logical results. Here in Part II I will continue with the following: our Need for Unskilled Labor, Immigrant Abuse, Foreign Spending and Investment, and Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and the steps we must take to save the Republic. Although, our government’s overriding concern must remain the well-being of our citizenry i.e. government needs to keep their grimy mitts out of the pockets of the citizens they were elected to SERVE. Elected to Serve, that phrase, without question, is one our politicians have forgotten long ago. In truth, citizens need not fear their government, but government must fear its citizens; it was once this way. Ben Franklin once said, “Every American citizen must be alert to the encroachments of government power”. We see signs of such encroachments everyday, problems at home that have long needed attention. Even so, there are still bleeding hearts among us that believe it is America’s responsibility to end the woes of the world’s disenfranchised.

Today there are more than 500 million people residing in Latin America (more than 100 million in Mexico alone), and untold millions elsewhere who would like nothing more than to relocate to the United States for the sole purpose of securing gainful employment. An admirable goal indeed, but at what expense to the American people?

Forget the fact that felonies are being committed against the American people in order for these foreign nationals to achieve their goal of employment in the United States. Forget for a moment that these uncounted millions are bankrupting our healthcare, educational and welfare systems. What about President Bush’s repeated claim that these hardworking folks are here doing jobs that the average American refuses to do? I have two letters that succinctly describe the accuracy of that statement by the President … a big B and a big S! Put ‘em together and what do they spell… BS.

The fact of the matter is: these low-paying jobs currently being performed by illegal aliens are the exact same jobs I performed as a teenager. Newspaper delivery, fast-food, gas station attendant/auto maintenance, construction worker, laundry attendant in a convalescent home. None of these jobs are highly desired by America’s mature workers, but are a necessary training ground and have historically been effective in building a serviceable work ethic for our future workforce. Again, the jobs I’ve referenced above are jobs I’ve performed during my youth from the age of 12 to 18 years. Without this valuable experience I would have been at a great disadvantage when I finally did enter the higher paying job market at 18 years of age.

So for you folks claiming it is inhumane to arrest and deport these hardworking people who were not blessed to be born in the USA, I say step back and take a good look at who we’re really hurting; could we be hurting our youth and our country’s future? I know we are.

Combine the disenfranchisement of America’s youth from our labor pool with what is happening to our society from an economic standpoint. One can then only conclude that our children’s collective future is being bargained away by corporate interests that fail to recognize employment of our children in entry level jobs is failing to invest in our country’s economic future.

Today, nobody can deny America’s youth is exhibiting an unsettling measure of irresponsibility, far beyond anything seen in the recent past. The Grunge and the Goth, our children display dark-souled behavior embracing violence and to others and themselves. What is the difference between today’s kids and those of us born in the sixties, seventies and eighties? It’s simple, today’s kids have too much time on their hands, and you know the old saying about idle hands…

When I was 16 years old I went to school (begrudgingly), participated in sports and other extra-curricular activities, as well as held down a variety of part-time jobs. I had no time to get into trouble (at least not a lot). Today, those jobs I held are now being performed by people who aren’t supposed to be in this country; leaving nothing constructive for our kids to do. The answer to industry’s need for unskilled labor does not lie outside the borders of the United States, the answer is right here under our noses in our local high schools. And they even speak English, more or less.

Work Experience programs still exist in our high schools as far as I know, the Work Experience program in my high school gave me my first taste of hourly pay as a Box boy at a local grocery store. In this job I learned how to be productive and develop a work ethic. Business should be mandated to first look to these programs to employ our youth before they can import labor from other countries.

If a company is legitimately unable to locate somebody to fill a job, then and only then can they seek an import to sponsor for employment. Once a company has established they are unable to hire an American citizen, whether young or old, they would be entitled to source and sponsor a foreign national for employment. The criterion for importing labor is pretty standardized around the world. The employer must provide acceptable housing for the employee and his or her family, health insurance, and a living wage to be agreed upon. These characteristics have been present in every overseas employment contract I have ever entered into. Anything less can be viewed as immigrant abuse. Following this course would largely eliminate the problems illegal immigration creates for our nation.

In fact, if American employers were compelled to follow these rules, the preferred choice would be to seek out American youth for unskilled jobs simply because providing immigrant workers the necessary training, a living wage, housing and healthcare is not as cost-effective as it is to employ an American youth and train them to do the job.

This provides a framework for Immigration reform of a sort, which in and of itself only requires enforcement of our existing laws and the expeditious processing of employer sponsored visa requests. The bane of the visa process has been the inordinate amount of time it takes to get an approval, 12 months is not unusual. That is just not a realistic timeline for a business and a process that can be accomplished in five business days at most.

Once an appropriate foreign national has been identified and a visa application submitted, the HSA, through Consular Affairs, must conduct an interview with the applicant worker, perform a physical examination and conduct a background check to identify any past criminal activity and assess any potential risk to our populous. Leveraging the technology we have at our disposal with cooperation of the respective Foreign Ministries, visa approval should not exceed five business days.

“Comprehensive Immigration Reform” is not as difficult as Washington wants you to believe, justifying the presence of illegal immigrants, which is what they refer to as “reform”, is not such an easy sale. Another area of concern that contributes to the illegal invasion is the way we are spending our money abroad. Grants, microloans and the like do not include mandatory training and oversight of the funds dispersed.

Foreign entrepreneurs receive money to develop enterprises in their home countries, without guidelines being enforced to mandate development of local workers and a payscale that coincides with an acceptable standard of living. These monies should serve to create opportunity for people in their home countries, sadly we waste it, and illegal aliens keep coming.

Another area of foreign spending that amounts to nothing less than fiscal mismanagement and fraud as it is related to the housing of our Foreign Service Officers (FSO’s), the DIMWITS we send overseas to work in our embassies and consulates. I can personally confirm that the following is fact, because I have been a recipient of the massive booty available from the housing of our FSO’s.

As with most immigrant workers around the world, we (the American Government) provide adequate housing to a US standard for all of our FSO’s, all the way from the Ambassador to lowly consular officers. Each property leased for an FSO must meet specific criteria that mandates a secure parking structure, security system, fire alarms, back-up generator, washer and dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave and the list goes on.

While living in Armenia, my friend who was the Political Officer at our Embassy, admitted to me with disgust, exactly how our tax dollars are spent abroad and specifically for FSO housing. Depending upon the length of the FSO’s assignment, a house or apartment is leased for three to five years; an 802 meter (8432 ft) two-bedroom apartment meeting our criterion can be rented for $1,200 per month (my 852 meter two-bedroom apartment cost me all of $280 per month), but the State Department (on our behalf) generously pays the property owner $3,500 per month.

When I learned this, bells, whistles, light bulbs and dollar signs began going off in my head. I then contacted a local friend who deals in real estate and told him about the process. Within 48 hours he came up with a list of 18 properties that were qualified to be considered by the housing board at the Embassy. He then approached the owners of these properties and secured conditional agreements to lease the properties, then we took photos and I wrote descriptions of each property for presentation to the board.

The result was three of our 18 properties offered were leased by our embassy with monthly lease payments totaling $15,500; this left my new partner and I a net profit of $9,500 per month to share. Not bad money for shuffling a little paper, and that was great for me and my Armenian partner, but how do you feel about this kind of blatant waste? Do you take umbrage, as I do; at the fact our government spends OUR HARD-EARNED DOLLARS so cavalierly?

Did you know December is the biggest spending month of the year for our government agencies? Why? No, it’s not for Christmas presents. It’s because every dollar not spent by December 31st of each year, is returned to the US Treasury (to us) by law. Ohhh, God forbid a federal agency return a single unspent penny to our Treasury. I don’t know about you, but to me that seems fundamentally wrong, irresponsible and dishonest. Why is it acceptable for these DIMWITS to throw our money down the toilet because they won’t be able to waste those monies in the following year? Under my administration, these practices would be punishable by hefty fines and imprisonment.

If we as a nation commit to reclaiming our government and hold our politician’s feet to the fire; we must criminalize government waste both foreign and domestic, make our civil servants more accountable for their actions, close our borders, and compel illegal aliens to self-deport, then we will be able to regain control of our country and our future.

This brings to mind a quote by Ronaldus Maximus (President Reagan for those of you in Rio Linda), that is as true today as it was 20 years ago when he made the statement, and goes as follows: “Lower Taxes and Lower Spending equals Prosperity”, and that means prosperity for all. No truer words have ever been spoken; simple, direct and to the point.

Ronaldus Maximus was one president who genuinely understood the meaning of Elected to Serve.

And they all lived happily ever after…

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Romney Speaks… but did America listen?


Can the words of a devote man sway the uninformed?

This morning, December 6th 2006, Mit Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, spoke to the American people on the topic of his Mormon faith and how it might influence his presidency if elected.

Before I comment any further, let me state for the record that I was raised Presbyterian, and am largely against organized religion as a guiding influence in my personal life. With that said, I do consider myself a spiritual person grounded in the Christian principles upon which I was raised and which this country was founded. Furthermore, at this writing, I am leaning toward former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson in the presidential race. So no “Romney bias” here.

Without hearing the speech in its entirety, what I have heard was impressive. I heard a man impart that he is guided by religious principles founded in Christianity, albeit a sect that does not exactly adhere to the same doctrine that I personally subscribe; there is no question in my mind that Mit Romney is NOT a danger to the republic at large.

What I really find most disturbing is the commentary from conservatives immediately following the speech. Based on the content of their comments, I hear the words of the uninformed, the words of the ignorant, the words of anarchists. Some still clinging to the unfounded belief that Mormonism is a “cult”. Based on what? There is nothing that grabs my grapes harder than people who convict on speculation and/or circumstantial evidence. In my memory, conservatives have always stayed above the fray and what I have always admired is “we do not eat our own”. I’ve always thought this to make conservatives a class act, and why I am befuddled and find these baseless attacks on Romney to be out of character. This has always been a tactic of the left and what I have come to expect from liberals. Since when have conservatives been afraid of faith? This goes back to fear of the unknown, the fear of fear. These are the same folks who are afraid of the dark.

I do not claim to understand what the Book of Mormon is all about; I don’t claim to understand why Mormons cannot consume caffeine, why they can’t consume tobacco. It’s probably based on the old Christian fundamental that “the body is a temple”, so don’t trash it… But none of my Mormon friends have ever explained it. What I can say about most of the Mormons with whom I have a relationship is: they are honest, hard-working, self-reliant and family and community-oriented. That’s not to say I don’t know a couple of “bad apples”, but as a group, the Mormons are amongst the most honorable and patriotic Americans one could know.

Some of the Mormon principles that I am aware of and do admire is their commitment to Self-Reliance, Self-Determination, Independence from Government Handouts, and a Genuine Concern and Compassion for the members of their community. What’s wrong with that?

As for Mit, I gotta go with my gut (and my gut rarely fails me). Mit Romney is an honorable man with a genuine desire to make the country a better place for all of us to live. So I say to all conservatives, give the man a chance. Every candidate, regardless of party affiliation or religious belief or lack thereof, deserves the opportunity to sink or swim based upon their own merits. I have always subscribed to the belief that a person should always be given enough rope to hang themselves. This tactic normally results in the person exposing themselves for whom and what they are. Before Bill Clinton was elected president, he exposed himself as an adulterer, a prevaricator, and a hypocrite, and yet he was still victorious in his two presidential runs.

To that end, I ask that we as a society of principle must give Mit the chance to show us the content of his character before we judge him as a man and as a prospective president.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I’M NOT MY BROTHER’S KEEPER

Why Should American’s Pay for the Health, Education and General
Welfare of People who are Not Supposed to be here in the First Place?

I moved back to the United States in 2004 after living in a number of different countries for more than 15 years. Within days I was really shocked to see what had become of my hometown (Torrance, CA), in the suburbs of Los Angeles. It wasn’t so much the urban sprawl that had spilled into my beloved hometown; I expected to see a lot of growth. Torrance has always been a city with a bent towards fostering new business and industry. My formal introduction to our “Brave New World” was when I walked into the local McDonald’s where I recall my father bringing me as a child. I saw no white faces, no black faces, no Asian faces, only Hispanics. And as I approached the counter to place my order, a young Hispanic girl greeted me with the obligatory and heavily accented “welcome to McDonald’s, may I take your order”. I said, “I’ll have a No. 1 and an Apple Pie”. She frowned and looked at me as if I were from Mars and said “Que?”. After repeating myself twice in English, and a third time in Portuguese, I finally got my order placed; if the words in Spanish and Portuguese weren’t the same, I’d still be trying to get my Big Mac. (Maybe that would have been a good thing)

While I was filling my Coke, all I could hear behind the counter was Spanish. They were actually conducting business operations in Spanish… in Torrance, California USA? Unthinkable. That may seem an innocuous occurrence to you, and I would agree if it were an isolated incident; but it wasn’t, it’s business as usual in today’s America. As a result, I haven’t been to a McDonald’s since. The more I thought about it, the more my annoyance turned to anger. What country is this anyway?

Even in Leningrad, where I lived for three years, the counter staff spoke better English than they do here. That is just fundamentally wrong. But this little event has served to set the stage for what I see as the greatest threat to our society and national sovereignty today.

Our American Dilemma really hit home when I went to pickup a cell phone and was denied for bad credit. Bad credit? I haven’t been in the US for 15 years, I shouldn’t have any credit. When I finally got my hands on my Experian report I found that I had purchased a car in 1998 while I was living in Brazilhmmm. Then I saw it had been repossessed in 1999, curiouser and curiouser. Next I saw I had been working in San Antonio, Texas in 1996 and San Mateo, California in 1996 and 1997, and two federal tax liens as a bonus, all while I had been living in Hong Kong. Now, call me paranoid, but I felt there might be trouble afoot.

From one day to the next we hear news reports of emergency rooms closing, classroom overcrowding in our public schools, falling student test scores, the growth in the low-paying job market, the decline in good paying jobs, the erosion of our civil rights, our correctional institutions bursting at the seams, and so on and so on; all traceable back to our 25 million and growing illegal alien population. As we listen to one politician after another lamenting about the problems these people are causing, I hear nobody offering any solutions.

The only politico who seems to have a clue is the so called “Right-Wing Extremist”, Pat Buchanan. What Buchanan proposes is really our only logical course of action, it makes sense for America, and at the end of the day it makes sense for the illegal aliens. In a word, “Attrition” is the answer.

If we were only to enforce the existing laws we have on our books, we would only need to make some minor modifications and amendments to tighten things up and bring our nation back from the brink. But if I may, I prefer what I like to call the “Buchanan on Steroids” plan.

Our laws, as they are currently written, require deportation of individuals who have entered the United States without the proper entry documentation (a.k.a. a visa), there are of course exceptions, but those exceptions are very focused and do not apply to most of the undocumented aliens currently residing in the United States.

Aliens without the proper visa are not permitted to work in the United States, and it is unlawful to hire such persons. Employers currently have access to a database to verify Social Security Numbers as valid or invalid. Today, when an employer submits a prospective employee’s Social Security Number for verification, and they receive a “No Match” notification from the feds, they are legally required not to hire, or terminate the employment of these undocumented individuals.

Regrettably, many employers disregard these notices and put undocumented aliens to work anyway, often to their own detriment. Putting an end to this practice would require a monumental commitment from both government and business. Enforcement of these laws and mandating the imposition of severe penalties would be a beginning. Appropriate penalties must include significant prison time (not Club Fed) and a hefty fine, perhaps one year in federal prison and a $50,000 fine per occurrence as a minimum mandatory sentence. That sounds like it might be a pretty good deterrent. I know I’d think twice about hiring somebody whose identity and residency status I couldn’t verify.

Our educational system in the US is currently being destroyed by the children of people who are not supposed to be in this country. The people who are paying the price for this abuse are our children, their teachers, and you and I, the American taxpayer. A federal mandate could quickly alleviate this problem by requiring the parents of new students enrolling in school to provide evidence of their legal residence in the United States. All others needn’t apply.

And while we’re on the topic of kids, “Anchor Babies” are an insult to the 14th Amendment. I know it’s safe to say the writers of this Amendment did not intend for it to be taken advantage of by people who do not have legal residency in the country. Even children born of foreign diplomat parents residing in the country legally do not receive US Citizenship. Why should the children born of parents who are not supposed to be in the country in the first place?

I should state for reference purposes that no amendment to the US constitution has been written for the benefit of criminal violators, and clarification of this point would be helpful to law enforcement. The Supremes’ have the authority to define the intent of this Amendment and should do so to close this loophole without further delay and put the Anchor Baby to bed for good.

Finally, the use of our hospitals as primary care facilities for illegal aliens is abhorrent. It has caused the closure of otherwise productive emergency rooms and trauma care centers. If we, the American taxpayer, are expected to foot the bill for the healthcare of people who have committed felonies in order to live and work in our country, I’m serving notice right here and now that I am opting out of the system until real change is made. I don’t know about you, but my tax dollars must be used to maintain the health of my family and myself, and for the betterment of my standard of living and that of my fellow Americans. Allowing illegal aliens to take unbridled advantage of our healthcare system, and the innate generosity and desire of Americans to help people in need is criminal in itself and the federal authorities that allow this abuse should be prosecuted.

The only answer is to require proof of legal residency in order to treat people with non-life threatening illnesses. People who arrive at an ER with a condition that threatens life or limb must, of course, be treated; but not their 11-year old with the sniffles. This may seem harsh, and it is to some extent, but it is necessary in order to save the system for the people that it was designed to serve.

The other important benefit we would realize by following this course, which nobody in government seems to have a genuine concern, is the ability to close our borders to individuals’ intent on doing us harm, AKA, terrorists. And let me tell you folks, if you believe that’s just government hype to instill fear in the American populous, I only wish it were so. The years I spent in the Middle-East and Central Asia proved to me otherwise. If we don’t stay on the offensive in the Middle-East and hunt down these murderers, they will certainly follow us home. But that’s grist for another article on another day.

So that’s it, saving the republic in a nutshell. No mass deportations required; No ICE hunter teams out looking for these illegal aliens. Simply strict enforcement of our existing laws and tightening of regulations governing issuance of public assistance only to people with legal residence would compel these folks to leave on their own. In fact, we should even incentivize the proposition for them and provide for their return trip and give them $500 in parting gifts, just so they can land on their feet. It would be a bargain.


In Part II of this article, I will address the talking points of detractors to my position. The topics will include: answering the Need for Unskilled Labor, Immigrant Abuse, Foreign Spending and Investment, and the need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform among others.