Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My thoughts on immigration

My grandparents came here legally about 110 years ago and I have the Ellis island certificates to prove it. They came her with hopes and dreams like everyone else, but also with a great respect for American values. They very much wanted the American dream. As I have said many times before, we need to look to history for many answers for modern problems. As a logical engineer, I always ask myself and others, “Why not do what has worked in the past? If it worked then, it will probably work now.” In order to be admitted to the USA, they had to do three things. 1. Pass a health check – if you were sick, you were sent back. No one was allowed to be a burden on the taxpayers, 2. Have a USA sponsor who was financially responsible for you. Again, not a burden on the taxpayers, 3. Sign a form stating you would not take any welfare. Yet again, not a burden on the taxpayers. After that you were free to go, best of luck to you. Of course, it went without saying – if you committed a crime you were gone. I cannot believe that if either side of my family, Italian or Irish, had a relative who was a criminal that they would tolerate that behavior. It was hard enough as it was – anyone who did that would tarnish the family name and make it harder for the rest of the Irish or Italian community to get ahead. As newly arrived immigrants, there was much struggle to gain a foothold and achieve legitimacy. No one wanted a bad apple to ruin it for the rest of them. My Italian grandfather apparently had offers to go to work for a certain group of people in New York, you know who they are, and he said no to that offer. It was time to abandon the old ways. He did not want to associate with any criminals, it was more important to assimilate and prosper. They told me there were signs on building that said, “Irish need not apply.” And also signs that read, “Italians need not apply.” Our family had to look out for each other and help each other whenever possible. I could go on and tell you how poor they were and what we had to do to survive, but there were so many others in the same circumstance. My father told me that when my Uncle Pete came over he had a “letter of introduction” to others in the community vouching for his character from a well-off businessman. Some members of my family had to go back and forth a few times before they could establish themselves. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? If they got a job, they paid taxes like everyone else, no big deal. They were glad to be here. If not, you went back, re-grouped, came back and tried again. My Italian grandfather even forbid my grandmother from speaking Italian in the home. He said the children need to learn English and adapt to America as quickly as possible. That was how he hoped they would succeed. They all had to work under the existing system and learn to play by the rules to get ahead. There was no “accommodation” requested or expected. They all wanted to prove that they could succeed just like others before them and they wanted that pride of accomplishment. I could go on, but the parallel to today’s issues is exactly appropriate. We used to have an open system but ZERO welfare. Yes, it was hard but also efficient and it produced an incredible generation as a result. Today’s immigration system is a mess because we combined too many conflicting values into one catch all system. We should separate immigration from welfare and also separate it from temporary worker systems. My only change or minimum addition to the older system would be to add a background check requirement for filtering out criminals and terrorists because of modern problems. I know for a fact that my grandparents would not want anyone in this country who was illegal or a criminal, no matter where they came from. That is what they were leaving behind in the old countries. The rule of law was sacred to them and part of the attraction of the American Dream. It amazes me that even today we cannot have an intelligent conversation about immigration without euphemisms. Either you are legal or not. A young man I met last week commented that “We cannot have different classes of people!”. I replied , “Yes, there are different classes of people, and it is perfectly legal.” Criminals are a different class of people. They are further divided into groups based on offenses – misdemeanor and felony. Have you ever paid extra or been upgraded on an airline seat? What do they call that section?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

God Bless Texas

Finally I got a metric I can understand - what is the % of our government spending vs GDP?

You can get these numbers for the federal spending, but we also need to know what the overall percentage is for state spending, and it seems Texas is doing reasonably well overall. Now, before you get too excited, remember one of my favorite sayings, "It's not hard to beat zero!". If you compare any state to California, they look really good.

But having said that, here's the rest of the story and the NUMBER: 17.3% Don't ever forget this as we go forward to hold politicians accountable!

From the National review

Low-Tax Texas Creates Most New Jobs

More than half of the net new jobs created in the United States during a recent 12-month period were created in Texas — due to economic practices that are a “model of restraint” the federal government could emulate, according to National Review Online.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said 214,000 net new jobs were created from August 2009 to August 2010, and 119,000 of them were created in Texas.

“What does Austin know that Washington doesn’t?” writes National Review Editor Rich Lowry. “At its simplest: Don’t overtax and [over]-spend, keep regulations to a minimum, avoid letting unions and trial lawyers run riot, and display an enormous neon sign saying, ‘Open for Business.’”

A report from the Texas Policy Foundation disclosed that Texas saw a decline of 2.3 percent from its peak employment, compared to 8.7 percent in California and 5.7 nationwide.

California nearly canceled out Texas’ jobs gain by losing 112,000 jobs, and its unemployment rate is above 12 percent, while the rate in Texas stands at 8.3 percent.

Texas has no state income tax, and is among the 10 lowest-tax states in the nation. It’s a right-to-work state that enacted serious tort reform during the last decade.

“Texas is a model of government restraint. In 2008, state and local expenditures were 25.5 percent of GDP in California, 22.8 percent in the U.S., and 17.3 percent in Texas,” Lowry observes.

He concludes: “In Texas in recent decades, the watchwords have been prudence and stability in the course of nurturing a pro-business environment, while California has undergone a self-immolation that President Barack Obama wants to replay nationally.”

Will government allow the private sector to thrive, Lowry wonders, or stifle growth with “its hyperactivity and favoritism for anti-business interests?”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Obamacare vs. Grandma

Dear Friends:
Please join me in wishing my grandmother a Happy Birthday! Tomorrow she turns 102 years old!

Recently she was in the garden pruning a tree and fell and broke her hip. Well of course she was taken to the hospital and the doctors had a very difficult time deciding what to do. As a family we agreed she should have a chance and elected to have a hip operation so that she could recuperate and return home to her normal life.

Well, needless to say, this was not a simple choice. The doctors were split about her treatment options. The other choice (if you could call it that) was to have a medically induced coma and let her live out her last days "pain-free". Well, all I can say is that we chose to give her a fighting chance. When you are 102 your life is totally in God's hands.

She had her operation and the doctors were amazed, her heart was in excellent condition, she is as strong as a horse. She is almost fully recuperated now and should be back home shortly, living in the home she has lived in for the better part of 60 years. She walks with a cane, but still insists on doing her own chores.

Of course, had we been in the next calendar year when Obamacare takes over, my guess is she would not have survived. Some federal bureaucrat would have refused her treatment because she is statistically too old. Well, Mr. Bureaucrat, Mr. Obama, that "statistic" is my Grandma. Don't mess with Grandma.

Now for the rest of the story......

The first time she broke her (other) hip, some 20 plus years ago, the doctors said the exact same thing. Had we chosen the painkiller only option, she would have lost over 20 years of life because of this decision. When she was in the nursing home last time she was ornery, couldn't stand it. She had to get out because she said there were too many old people there! She got out about 2 weeks ahead of schedule, all the nurses were amazed.

I am glad we DO NOT currently allow some stranger to make these decisions for us, not even doctors. I would not want that kind of authority over someone else, even my family member; it is not our decision to make. We must keep the rights of the individual to decide these things for themselves.

This has taught me a few valuable lessons.
1. No matter what our age or status, our lives are ALWAYS in God's hands.
2. We should not make choices for others about when it is their "time to go".
3. Obamacare would have certainly killed Grandma, any doubters?
4. You have to stand up for personal freedom for any and all people, regardless of race, color , creed or AGE!

Now I ask all of you to decide - take a stand. Are you for Obamacare and against Grandma? Yes or No, simple. No fence sitters or "moderates" allowed, no explanations needed.

If you choose the moderate option, let me tell you what I believe will happen. The Obamacare people will run over you like a steamroller, and you will have given them implicit approval to be the victim. Someday this WILL happen to you or your family member, it is only a matter of time. Not IF, but WHEN.

Please help me understand, exactly - for my grandmother - What HOPE and CHANGE does she have to look forward to?

God Bless Grandma!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Katy ISD bonds, more money for what?

This is from the website:
Tea Party To School Board: We Have Questions About Planned Bond Issue

By: John Pape on Fri, Aug 6, 2010


In a statement released yesterday, the Katy Tea Party Patriots announced the formation of an education awareness team to explore issues associated with Katy ISD’s anticipated November bond election.

In July, the Katy ISD Bond Referendum Task Force formally recommended $459,791,092 bond package to the school board.

Trustees have not yet voted to call the bond election; however, it is widely expected they will schedule the vote for November.

In the statement, the Tea Party Patriots stressed the organization is not taking a stance on the bond issue at this time, but believes “it is important that we start asking some important questions surrounding the proposed bond.”

Education awareness team member and former school board candidate Henry Dibrell initiated the process by issuing a list of questions entitled “10 Things to Ask Yourself Before Voting on the KISD Bond Referendum.”

Those questions included:

- Do you trust the people who will be in charge of spending the money if it is approved?

- Who will make the final decisions about how bond money is spent?

- How much debt does Katy ISD have at present?

- If nothing is done, how much will your taxes go down?

- How were the proceeds of earlier bond money spent; and was there any left over funding? How much?

- What is the status of “left over” funds today? Spent on what? Saved for future use?

- When will these bonds be paid off and at what total cost to the taxpayer?

- If Katy ISD does not issue new bonds what is the impact on our tax rate?

- Are the costs in line with what is reasonable and necessary?

- Who gets to decide how left over bond money is spent? Do you trust them with that task?

The bond package recommended by the task force is made up of the following:

- $282,127,231 in new facilities

- $98,843,953 in comprehensive renovations of existing facilities

- $1,763,626 in expansion of existing facilities

- $18,868,761 in component replacements in existing facilities

- $35,400,245 in technology improvements

- $22,787,275 in “other” expenditures, including portable buildings, buses and bond costs

Tea Party leaders said the group plans on issuing additional awareness information on the bond issue in the upcoming weeks.

Additionally, the Tea Party has announced a change in its regular meeting location. Beginning Aug. 12 at 7 p.m., the group will hold its bi-monthly meetings at the Grayson Lakes Community Center.

My comments are simple, I am a simple guy...

I would like to know a simple answer to a simple question – what percentage of all KISD employees are teachers vs the total employment?
I have yet to get this answer from board members. My gut feeling tells me there are perhaps 50% non-teaching employees when I personally think the number ratio should be more like 80/20 or 90/10 (teachers vs. non-teachers).

I bet we could do without a bond issue if we streamlined some administrative positions, why is it they always fire teachers first instead of bloated overhead management staff? When I was in school we had ONE principal per school, now there are 3-5 per school – why?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wal-Mart vs. The Morons

Wal-Mart vs. The Morons

1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day.

2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!

3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.

4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.

5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world's largest private employer, and most speak English.

6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.

7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.

8. During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.

9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.

10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago.

11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)

12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.

You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to fix the economy.

This should be read and understood by all Americans Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!!

To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature,

It is now official you are ALL corrupt morons:

a.. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.

b.. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
c.. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.

d.. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.

e.. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.

f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.

g.. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.


Folks, keep this circulating. It is very well stated. Maybe it will end up in the e-mails of some of our "duly elected' (they never read anything) and their staff will clue them in on how Americans feel.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More Change we don't need, Hope it ends soon!

I always have friends I can rely on for a good laugh, or is it a cry? In my job I constantly look at math problems, ROI analysis, cost structures, profitability, etc. So here's a math lesson:

Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58 The counter girl took my $2 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters , but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried. Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:

1. Teaching Math In 1950s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ?

2 Teaching Math In 1960s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100 His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

3 Teaching Math In 1970s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100 His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

4 Teaching Math In 1980s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100 His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5 Teaching Math In 1990s

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20.. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's ok. )

6 Teaching Math In 2009

Un hachero vende una carretada de madera por $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?

Year 2010:
Who cares, just steal the lumber from your rich neighbor's property, he won't have a gun to stop you!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Time to vote!

CBS is letting you Rate the President

Here is your chance. Everyone should get a shot at this. Takes all of fifteen seconds and that is if you take a look at the results.

First, I can't believe CBS is actually doing this.

Second, that they're brave and honest enough to actually show the ongoing polling results.

Take the poll yourself and when you submit your grading of how he is handling the top issues, a second page will come up showing you the current results of how America is voting. Remember, this ain't Fox doing this. This is mostly people who watch CBS.

DO THIS! and pass it on.