Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Immigration Reform

This is an issue that has confounded the Federal government for decades.  I've written previously that there has to be a way to humanely solve (or at least attack) this problem.  But the Congress just can't seem to figure out what to do.  Politics is an overriding concern when it comes to anything to do with immigration.  Living in SoCal on the border, we are acutely aware of the issues.  There seem to be a lot of 'experts' who have simple solutions but the truth is that solutions are illusive.   But at this point I'd settle for incremental improvement.

So I was heartened to read an article in the Federalist today about a proposed program being pushed by Senator Johnson from Wisconsin and Rep Buck from Colorado.  It's called State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act of 2017.  To me it makes a huge amount of sense.  I'm going to post the entire article here so you don't have to go somewhere else.  Read it, digest it, think about it.  The status quo must change.  The country is changing, society is changing, our world is changing.  We've got to solve this problem and this seems to me to be one small step in the right direction.

Why Letting States Sponsor Immigration Visas Should Satisfy Everyone
State governments are in a better position than Washington DC to understand local immigration needs and capacities. Let’s give them a greater role in shaping guest worker flows.
By Brandon Fuller and Sean Rust
MAY 31, 2017
"With President Trump’s executive orders on immigration stalled out in federal court, Washington could use some fresh thinking on immigration reform. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) provided just that recently, unveiling the State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act of 2017, legislation that would give states the ability to sponsor temporary work visas.
This is a laudable step that should satisfy all sides of the ideological and political spectrum. State governments are in a better position than Washington DC to understand local immigration needs and capacities. Giving them a greater role in shaping guest worker flows will improve the economic performance of America’s immigration system.
In the face of the prolonged federal impasse on comprehensive immigration reform, blue and red states alike have shown interest in creating state-based visa programs. Legislators introduced bills in Arizona, California, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Utah went so far as to pass its own guest worker laws in 2011, with the understanding that enactment would require a federal waiver.
With no such federal waiver forthcoming, the efforts in Utah and other states have so far fallen short. The Johnson-Buck plan would provide welcome relief to such states, allowing them to apply to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for approval of their visa programs.
How This Would Work
Under the plan, states with DHS-approved programs would select and sponsor foreigners for temporary work visas. Once cleared by DHS, state-based visa holders would be allowed to live and work in the sponsoring state for a period of three years. The visa-holders would be ineligible for federal welfare benefits. Those who comply with the terms of their visas would be eligible for renewal and free to apply for permanent residency during their stay in the United States.
Unlike existing employment-based visas that tie foreign workers to one employer, state-sponsored visa holders would be free to work for employers throughout the sponsoring state. The plan also allows states to enter into interstate compacts to jointly administer their programs, broadening the potential set of employers by allowing visa-holders to live and work in different states.
This program would also correct issues many perceive with today’s employment-based visa system. Unlike with H-1B visas, state-sponsored visa-holders would be free to work for many potential employers. This leaves firms without monopsony power to suppress wages in order to hire these workers on the cheap. Underpaid visa-holders would simply find a higher-paying job at a different firm.
This Would Be Good for the Economy
By enriching local labor markets, state-sponsored visa programs would help revitalize struggling states and localities. This was the logic, for example, behind Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2014 request that the federal government reserve a share of its high-skilled employment green cards for people willing to live and work in the city of Detroit.
Snyder was on to something. In a place like Detroit, with a large number of vacant homes and irreversible infrastructure built for a much larger population, the spillover benefits from new migrants would be quite large. In such areas, an influx of foreign workers would stanch, slow, or potentially reverse decline by revitalizing neighborhoods, stabilizing housing markets, expanding the local tax base, deepening the local pool of human capital, attracting new businesses, and generating job growth.
Although overseen by the federal government, the plan would allow state governments to work with local governments and employers to tailor strategies that meet their economic development needs. For some states, this might mean a focus on recruiting seasonal workers in agriculture. Other states might orient their programs toward higher-skilled workers, as Snyder sought to do in Michigan. Others might focus sponsorship on entrepreneurs or investors. Whatever the specifics, the variety of programs that emerge from various states will serve as laboratories for ideas that can inform better federal immigration policy.
How to Handle People Who Break the Rules
The plan also gives states the option of using visas to create a path to authorization for undocumented foreign workers within their borders, after those migrants pay a penalty. State and local governments bear the majority of the fiscal burden associated with unauthorized foreign workers, but states are also in a good position to weigh those costs against the economic contributions such migrants make.
A natural question is how the state-sponsored programs will prevent visa overstays or unauthorized work outside of the sponsoring state. States that fail to keep absconders or overstayers to less than 3 percent of migrants would see their number of state-sponsored visas cut in half. States that repeatedly fall short of this mark would see their programs suspended entirely. Participating states therefore face strong enforcement incentives that start with selecting those who will comply with the terms of the visa.
If the experience with similar regional immigration programs in Australia and Canada is any guide, such compliance concerns are entirely manageable. Successful regional visa programs in Canada and Australia have aided economic and population growth in struggling regions. The participating regions enjoy high retention rates among sponsored workers, and the programs are popular among participating regions, migrants, and businesses.
State-sponsored visa programs would direct temporary foreign workers to the states that want them without pushing additional migrants on the states that don’t. Many states have already exhibited an interest in administering their own visa programs. The Johnson-Buck plan meets them halfway. Lawmakers across the political spectrum should welcome the opportunity to pilot state-based visa programs that can generate jobs and growth in their home states."
Brandon Fuller is deputy director of the Marron Institute at New York University. Sean Rust is an attorney and partner at Rust Real Estate, LLC in Philadelphia. They co-authored the 2014 Cato Institute policy analysis “State-Based Visas: A Federal Approach to Reforming U.S. Immigration Policy.”

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Got this from a friend and think it's pretty good.  And how a growing number of people feel.  Hat tip to DH.

   "US" by Paul Genova 
  (Mr. Paul Genova has been President and Chief Operating Officer of Wireless Telecom Group Inc. since June 30, 2016. 

I haven't said too much about this election since the start...but this is how I feel....

  I'm noticing that a lot of people aren't graciously accepting the fact that their candidate lost.
In fact you seem to be posting even more hateful things about those who voted for Trump.

  Some are apparently "triggered" because they are posting how "sick" you feel about the results.

  How did this happen you ask? Well here is how it happened!
You created "us" when you attacked our freedom of speech.

  You created "us" when you attacked our right to bear arms.

  You created "us" when you attacked our Christian beliefs.

  You created "us" when you constantly referred to us as racists.

  You created "us" when you constantly called us xenophobic.
You created "us" when you told us to get on board or get out of the way.
You created "us" when you attacked our flag

  You created "us" when you took God out of our schools.

  You created "us" when you confused women's rights with feminism.

  You created "us" when you began to emasculate men.

  You created "us" when you decided to make our children soft.
You created "us" when you decided to vote for progressive ideals.

  You created "us" when you attacked our way of life.
You created "us" when you decided to let our government get out of control.

  You created "us" the silent majority

  You created "us" when you began murdering innocent law enforcement officers.

  You created "us" when you lied and said we could keep our insurance plans and our doctors.

  You created "us" when you allowed our jobs to continue to leave our country.
You created "us" when you took a knee, or stayed seated or didn't remove your hat during our National Anthem.
You created "us" when you forced us to buy health care and then financially penalized us for not participating.

        And we became fed up and we pushed back and spoke up.
  And we did it with ballots, not bullets.
  With ballots, not riots.
  With ballots, not looting.
  With ballots, not blocking traffic.
  With ballots, not fires, except the one you started inside of "us"

  "YOU" created "US".

  It really is just that simple.

Sunday, May 28, 2017


It is becoming axiomatic that we just can't talk to each other any more.  We've all gone to our corners.  Finally though someone in the MSM has recognized and called out the problem.  We'd all do well to listen...

Motivation Monday

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Flag

My post this week on Monuments was generated after seeing the controversy in New Orleans regarding removing some monuments to Civil War generals.  You can read it here.  I linked it over on FB and it has in turn generated quite a few comments on both sides of the issue.  I'm happy to say most are respectful and thoughtful.  

But I guess inevitably the issue of the Confederate Flag, the stars and bars, has been raised.  Now I'm not one to engage passionately on FB on some controversial issue.  I'd much rather post photos of my wonderful dog or exciting vacations or special events that are sorta fun.  But every once in a while, a subject begs to be addressed.  So I thought I'd publish a few thoughts here and link them there and let the chips fall where they may.  Anyone who wants to follow the link and read this must have interest. Otherwise they will just move on to the next post with photos of puppies.

First, this is the flag we honor.  Full Stop.  The Stars and Stripes were born in the earliest days of the country and symbolize this unique experiment in Democracy we call the United States of America.  

Of course people might honor other flags in separate ways.  Sometimes it's their state flag or city flag.  Or maybe they are a member or veteran of one of the branches of the military and will honor that flag.  But above all, honoring those flags never usurps the honor all Americans should show to the flag of the United States.

In the discussion of monuments, I came down on the side of agreeing with Mayor Landreiu.  Remove the monuments.  But I also think they have a place.  Put them on a battlefield, or a museum, or a historical site, or somewhere that the story can be told.  And where it can be assured that the story is told truthfully and fully.  It doesn't mean that the historical nature of the monument or the aspects of heritage are minimized, but rather that the pain inflicted by such monuments in the public square are just not appropriate or worth the battle to keep them.  Not when they cause such pain to some of our fellow citizens.  To my mind, there are much bigger battles to wage.  But that's just my opinion.

But then we get inevitably to this flag.  The Stars and Bars have generated huge controversy for many years and that is not going away.  After the horrific murder of black parishioners in Charleston, SC a few years ago the controversy came to a fever pitch.  The State of South Carolina removed the flag from state grounds under what I thought was pretty courageous leadership by Governor Nikki Haley.  And life goes on.  On this controversy I'm a bit more definitive.  This is the Confederate Battle Flag and known to symbolize the Confederacy.  To many it is indicative of a heritage.  They say it symbolizes a way of life and a cause that so many fought and died for.  They say it's not about slavery.  Many bristle when it is related to the brutal and shameful oppression of black people.  But in doing a very cursory search on the confederate flag and it's origins I came across this disclaimer on one of the prominent web sites:  
It is necessary to disclaim any connection of these flags to neo-nazis, red-necks, skin-heads and the like. These groups have adopted this flag and desecrated it by their acts. They have no right to use this flag - it is a flag of honor, designed by the confederacy as a banner representing state's rights and still revered by the South. The South denies any relation to these hate groups and denies them the right to use the flags of the confederacy for any purpose. The crimes committed by these groups under the stolen banner of the Confederacy only exacerbate the lies which link the secession to slavery interests when, from a Southerner's view, the cause was state's rights.
There's that claim again, that it's all about state's rights.  It just seems to me that the protest is too strident.  As I said in the previous post, any serious student of the Civil War knows that at it's heart, it was about slavery.  Now don't get me wrong.  We live in a free country.  Anyone who wants to can display this flag.  Anyone who wants to can tell themselves that it's honoring a way of life 150 years ago that just wanted to be left alone to grow their cotton.  Anyone who wants to can even celebrate the independence and rebellion of a rogue section of the country.  But at the same time they should remember two things.  Most of the population is not in your corner.  And the symbolism you're flouting has a sinister meaning and deep down you know it.

Which brings me to what I think is a logical conclusion.  If this flag engenders such heartache why would we want to inflict that on our fellow citizens?  One of the most prominent and concerning issue facing this country today are the strong and vitriolic divisions in our citizenry.  What does flying, glorifying, boasting about, and promoting the stars and bars do to help heal a divided country.  I know many will say it's history and if people can't take reality, too bad.  And I agree it's history.  But let's put history in it's rightful place.  Let's put it in museums, in battlefields, in historic sites.  Let's bring this flag into classrooms and tell the story.  Let's let the historians tell the truthful history.  But for God's sake, it just simply doesn't belong in the public square as an atrocious reminder of the whippings, the deprivations, the squalor, the rending of families, the selling of people.  It's not a reminder, it's an affront.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Memorial Day

Update:  I've reposted this for 4 years and it's pretty timeless.  Wherever you live, whatever your politics, however you view the military...Memorial Day is an opportunity to stop and pay respects to those who have given "the last full measure of devotion".  

This never gets old.  The homecoming.  Been there, done that.  And it is so sweet.  After a long or short deployment with separation from your loved ones, coming home has a special meaning.  Whether you are on a routine training mission across the country, or on a combat mission on a remote and lonely battlefield someplace that was unknown to you until you stepped off the plane , or on a ship at sea on the far side of the world, coming home is something every service member has on his or her mind from the moment they get on the plane or cast off the lines.  And the families at home are no different.  They try to go about their daily lives doing all the routine things that consume their time, but the reality of their loved one being far away for some period of time is always there.  And it doesn't matter what the mission is.  If you are separated by deployment, the danger is always there.  No matter if you're driving a truck on a military reservation somewhere in the U.S., humping a pack through dangerous lands, manning a MASH unit behind the lines, doing a routine job on an American warship, flying a routine mission of humanitarian assistance,  or so many other jobs, the danger is always there.  You could make a misstep and your time could be up in a heartbeat.  That's why homecoming is so sweet.  You're back in the fold with your loved ones. You can be a part of their lives again.  And they can be a part of yours.  It's the way we were meant to live.  Together.

But this weekend we don't celebrate homecoming.  For many, many families they won't ever experience that joyous homecoming.  Too many will weep this weekend.  Too many will yearn for their loved ones who will never return. So what can we, the living, do?  We can honor them.  We can think of them.  We can pause and remember.  Oh, we all know that it is also the first weekend of summer.  There will be barbecues, parties, and fun family times.  It will be a time to relax and get ready for summer.  So have a great time and enjoy whatever endeavor that will come your way.  But for a moment, just for a moment, remember those who have fallen to ensure our freedoms and those left behind mourning their loved ones who gave the "last full measure of devotion".  And it doesn't matter what they were doing when they lost their lives.  What matters is their service.  We live in a secure nation.  An island nation.  We have generally not experienced the horror of attack or the threat of invasion on the scale of other countries around the world.  We've had our Pearl Harbor and our 911.  And those we're horrific.  But think of the war-torn countries around the world.  It's not that so many think it can't happen's that so many don't even think about it.  But there are those that have.  And those that do.  Those who recognize service above self.  Those who are willing to give, to go in harm's way, to risk all.  So take a moment on Monday.  A quiet moment.  Look around you.  Hug your family.  And give thanks.

Friday Funnies

Tough love!

Thursday, May 25, 2017


There has been some news recently about the city of New Orleans removing some Confederate monuments.  This kind of thing rears it's head periodically and generates some news, depending on the region and the interest.  Here in San Diego we had an elementary school named Robert E. Lee School.  No one seemed to think much about it until the horrific murders of black parishioners in a church in Charleston, S.C.  Amidst all the reaction, removing and changing tributes to the Confederacy seemed to be something that people thought was important and would make a difference.  South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from State Capital grounds and there was reaction both ways.  When the Robert E. Lee Elementary School was renamed Pacific View Leadership Elementary School it made the news but I didn't hear impassioned pleas to keep it.  I'm sure it had to do with where we are and how far removed we are (both geographically and culturally) from the South.  

But the removal of monuments in New Orleans received quite a different reaction.  There were sighs of relief and protests against political correctness run amok.  Mayor Mitch Landreiu gave what I thought was a pretty eloquent speech defending and explaining the removal.  

If you don't want to watch the video, you can get the text here.

I've given this subject some thought and have to admit that I continue to be of two minds about this painful subject.  On the one hand, there was extensive community involvement, discussion, and votes to determine the fate of the monuments.  Given this is their community and has a huge black population, it is probably not surprising that the outcome was removal.
After decades of public debate, of anger, of anxiety, of anticipation, of humiliation and of frustration. After public hearings and approvals from three separate community led commissions. After two robust public hearings and a 6-1 vote by the duly elected New Orleans City Council. After review by 13 different federal and state judges. The full weight of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government has been brought to bear and the monuments in accordance with the law have been removed.
On the other hand, I could see how these monuments could rationally be seen as monuments not to slavery, but to so many other things represented by the South.  Dedication to home, protection of a way of life, rural values vs big city values, industrialized America vs agricultural America, and on and on.  I'm not from the South, but my Dad was a very, very proud Alabamian and projected his loyalty to that state to his dying day, which was only a few years ago.  He loved his country...but he also was a true blue Southerner.  If he had lived in the 1860's, I have little doubt for which side he would have fought.  And it wouldn't have been to protect slavery.  It would have been to protect his home.  There are so, so many things to admire and love about the South.  The people are as genuine as you'll find anywhere.  It is a simple and yet complicated place.  It's history is both beautiful and tortured.  It is varied and dynamic.  And it has risen again, despite the epic beating it took oh so many years ago.  

And then there is the "how far do we go with this" argument.  Do we take down the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Monument because they owned slaves?  Close Mt Vernon and Monticello?  Rename all the streets, schools, buildings, and anything else named after someone who was on the wrong side of history?  I guess that sounds far fetched, but in this age of political correctness, it is most likely on the minds of some.  

But on the other hand...slavery was a scourge, an abomination.  It is easily the most shameful thing that this country has ever participated in.  And it is even worse if you read the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence.  Given the principles that this country was founded on, slavery is something that is uniquely horrific.  I've become quite a student of the Civil War and have heard people say and have read that the war wasn't all about slavery.  That it was about states rights, the industrial North vs the agricultural South, protection of their homes, and many other things as well as slavery.  Well...there is some truth to that, but it's backwards.  At the heart of everything was slavery.  The other issues were important and played a role, but at the heart of everything was slavery.  And to have monuments to those that fought to protect slavery (as well as other reasons) is hard pill to swallow.  At least for me it is.  And I have to ask myself, what would the answer be if we went almost anywhere in America and asked to erect a new monument to any of the Southern Generals today.  I think we know the answer to that.  I also know that we are still dealing with slavery and human trafficking on a wide spread scale.  What does it say about our efforts to attack that problem if we continue to have these statues in the public square?

But then we see things like this little quote that has been moving around the Internet today.  The objection to removing things from history that we find objectionable is valid.  You know the old saying...those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  So if we remove all those monuments, how do we remember, how do we learn?  Aren't they a good teaching tool?  Can't we use them to explain to our children about the Civil War, why it was fought and what the issues were, including the central issue of slavery?  I guess there is some truth to that but then I ask how statues of Generals are going to contribute to the story.  And depending on who's telling it, the facts get altered.  Badly altered.  I would strongly favor (and hope) that those monuments go somewhere where they can be a part of the story.  Because the story needs to be told.  Accurately.  Truthfully.  Painfully.  

As for me...I come down on the side of removal.  Of course, as a guy living in SoCal I don't have a big dog in the fight, other than my opinion as an American.  The truth is that I see this an more of an academic exercise than one that I feel passionately about.  So the passion I feel when thinking of this is the unbeliveable pain and suffering that some of the ancestors of black people who might live among us, share our values, and are just as much citizens of this great land as I am.  And I just don't see the need to inflict the pain of memories of slavery that these monuments surely invoke.  I guess that, although the danger is always there, I don't really buy the slippery slope of removing other historical artifacts.  I understand all the arguments that true Southerners make in defense of the monuments.  But those defenses simply don't overcome what these statues represent to some of our fellow citizens.  Ask yourself, what if you were a black family visiting a location with one of these monuments and you had to explain to your kids what they represent.  If I were a white family standing next to them, I'd be ashamed that our country engaged in that practice to our fellow man.  And I'm not even sure that most people even realize just how bad it was.  The movies and folklore have softened the reality.  Do some studying about slavery.  The reality was horrific.  And it's not something we should be holding up.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


There is no way that I could articulate the sympathy for the victims and revulsion of the perpetrator any better than one of my favorite bloggers, CDR Salamander, can.  You can read it here.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Motivation Monday

Cool Pic

Technology Comes Through

Drones have lots of uses.  This is a good one!


I just wonder if the damn Camel is smiling?

Trump vs The Media

This is a pretty good graphic.  And unfotunately very true.  At one time you had to look carefully to see what was not so obvious media bias.  But now it's all changed.  You might have seen the Harvard study that was published this week about media bias.  The results are shocking to those who want to believe that we are being fed the truth.  But the actuality is that there is shocking media bias against Trump.  I used to try and balance my news from multiple sources but it has come to the point that none of these guys are trustworthy.  None.

Politically Incorrect!

But pretty funny!

Cool Pic

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


There's just so much that it's almost overwhelming.  I won't try and comment.  There is so much out there that you can find the perspective you believe if you try.  I'll just say this.  The reporting and reaction is beyond incompetent and hysterical.  So the WPO reports that anonymous sources say that President Trump divulged highly classified material to Russians during a meeting.  They we have the Secretary of State, the National Security Advisor, and the Deputy National Security Advisor refute and deny that it happened.  Three pretty good and credible sources.  And the media and the Dems act as if they never said a word.  It's truly beyond the pale.  And you've heard about the supposed Comey memo.  Let's see how that plays out but I'm more than confident that it's much ado about nothing.  But we'll see.  One thing is for sure, there are people in government and media who will stop at nothing to destroy President Trump.  If I were him, I'd be very tempted to fire every Obama holdover who has any sort of access.  That would be extreme and harsh and the government would be jolted, but something has to be done.

Dogs Are Cool

Learning Early!

Cool Pic


The More Things Change...


It just never stops!  How many people in the country would love to see this happen.  I know I do!


Sooner or later it was bound to happen!

Cool Pic

Dogs Are Cool!


The Latest Craze

Have you seen these things.  They are little gadgets that have ball bearings and can be spun all around.  Supposedly good for kids who are fidgeting.  I know about these because I've got Grandkids and they've got them.  The other craze is Slime.  It's homemade concoction that is sort of like silly putty in days of old.  On the one hand it's all pretty dumb.  But on the other...hell, it's just a craze!

A Basic Message

Sometimes being minimalist is good.  I'm assuming R.C. means Roman Catholic.  Either they are very serious about the use of the Parish's money and are trying to conserve funds by abbreviating...or they are just lazy.

Friday, May 12, 2017


Is this treason?  Sedition?  Seems like it to me.  First Amendment protections stop at the point of government overthrow.  Wonder if anyone in the FBI is checking this out?  Probably not.  The media will certainly not report on it.

Friday Funnies

Sorry...sometimes it's just too easy!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


I've never liked Steven Colbert.  I know, I know...I'm an old guy who just doesn't get or appreciate his humor.  Bullshit.  He's an asshole.  And he proved that he is an asshole last night.  His 12 minute monologue about President Trump was over-the-top shocking in it's insensitivity, ignorance, offensiveness, and being just plain ill-mannered.  He pulled no punches and gave it to President Trump with both barrels.  Of course, like a lot of ignorant and oh-so-smug liberals, he's is just so superior.  I guess I could dispute and defend, but why bother.  Like I said, this guy is an asshole.  If you haven't seen this piece of pornography, check it out here.

After suffering through this embarrassing rant, I got to thinking about a comparison to anything I'd ever seen in my entire life regarding someone in the public eye on a major network being quite so obnoxious and insulting to our President.  I even did some searching around the net to see if I could find anything.  Of course, Obama was handled with kid gloves so there was obviously nothing there.  But after finding some data on comedians or public figures taking on the President, nothing I could find even comes close.  Not by a mile.  This diatribe was by far the most over-the-top insult imaginable.

So then I got to wondering about the responsibility of CBS to at least say something.  Defend him or muzzle him or fire him or at least acknowledge the ugliness of it.  But...crickets.  I've watched the CBS news deteriorate over the last several months and guess I'm not really surprised, but this is really, really disappointing.  That a major network would allow such a specific, insulting, ugly rant against our President is pretty bad.  Oh, I get First Amendment rights and all that (even if some of our greatest Universities do not).  Sure, anyone has the right to say these things.  But decorum, decency, and sensitivity would cause most to refrain from such low-life behavior.  Everyone but the biggest assholes among us that is.

Finally, I get that people can't get over the election.   I get that a lot of people are pissed.  But at some point they have to get over it.  At some point, we have to be able to respect each other and try to move forward.  But with breathtaking public displays of disdain and contempt against the President, I don't really know how we do that.