Como un residente illegal

Como un residente illegal, lo que me iban a hacer creer que el plan de inmigración está pendiente en Los Estatdos Unidos daría lugar en mí se convierta en un residente legal.

Translated loosely; as an illegal resident what would make me believe that the pending U.S. immigration plan would result in me becoming a legal resident. 

We have spent considerable time talking about the pending immigration bill and the hoops the illegal residents will have to jump through to gain citizenship.  Ten years of applying for papers, verifying work history, paying back taxes, learning and speaking English fluently, clearing up criminal records and then applying again for citizenship is a lot to ask for someone to do.  Particularly asking for this heavy commitment by the majority of the 11 million illegal residents who fall into the category of trained laborers such as gardeners, maintain golf courses.  I believe the fruit pickers will go for work visa’s limited to seasonal picking. I can understand those with professional skills, particularly in sciences and math but for the vast majority the question I posed in the opening paragraph may have a great deal of meaning. 

Has anyone done a formal survey of illegal residents to determine how many of them are here and whether or not they would take on the substantial task of becoming a citizen under the pending/proposed new immigration laws. 

I suspect that large numbers of illegal residents will choose to stay in the shadows and live free of government monitoring or potential deportation if they fail to meet the standards set in the new immigration rules. 

Como un residenta illegal

Como un residente illegal, lo que me iban a hacer creer que el plan de inmigración está pendiente en Los Estatdos Unidos daría lugar en mí se convierta en un residente legal.
Translated loosely; as an illegal resident what would make me believe that the pending U.S. immigration plan would result in me becoming a legal resident.
We have spent considerable time talking about the pending immigration bill and the hoops the illegal residents will have to jump through to gain citizenship. Ten years of applying for papers, verifying work history, paying back taxes, learning and speaking English fluently, clearing up criminal records and then applying again for citizenship is a lot to ask for someone to do. Particularly asking for this heavy commitment by the majority of the 11 million illegal residents who fall into the category of trained laborers such as gardeners, maintain golf courses. I believe the fruit pickers will go for work visa’s limited to seasonal picking. I can understand those with professional skills, particularly in sciences and math but for the vast majority the question I posed in the opening paragraph may have a great deal of meaning.
Has anyone done a formal survey of illegal residents to determine how many of them are here and whether or not they would take on the substantial task of becoming a citizen under the pending/proposed new immigration laws.
I suspect that large numbers of illegal residents will choose to stay in the shadows and live free of government monitoring or potential deportation if they fail to meet the standards set in the new immigration rules.

Red line, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha

A few months ago the President of the United States standing at the podium in a press conference stated that if Syria used chemical weapons on the people of Syria they would have crossed the “red line” and the President would change the response of this government to the Syrian civil unrest and the use of chemical weapons. The President did not specify what we would do but his statement in solemn terms inferred serious consequences. No mention was made of the 93,000 deaths [according to UN reports] that have already occurred in the two years since the civil war had been raging. It was confirmed that somewhere between 50 and 150 Syrians had died from chemical poisoning. The President decided to increase small arms shipments to the “rebels” in Syria as a response to his red line threats regarding the use of chemical warfare.

Let’s face it the President and most Americans don’t want another war in the Middle East and so the President’s empty threat of crossing the red line resulted in this country appearing to be impotent. You would think the President would understand that offering up red line ultimatum’s don’t work with other world powers. Threatening China because they hadn’t returned a fugitive from U.S. justice did not work, another red line ignored, then the President threatened Russia if they didn’t return the same fugitive that China hadn’t returned and to no avail, another red line ignored.

In the President’s most recent speech he announced he is going to further curtail pollution emissions, specifically in the field of coal in the U.S. Is the President going to deliver a red line declaration to India and China that if they don’t stop opening a new coal mine every week and in fact curtail the current pollution from their respective countries coal mines the U.S. was going to cause serious damage to these world powers? His environmental plan is to use his power as President of this country to urge China and India to curtail pollution emissions. China and India contribute more pollution to the world atmosphere than all other countries including the U.S. Does anyone believe our country’s red line challenges are going to be taken seriously by Russia, China or India, I think not!

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The Silence is Deafening

I don’t know if you noticed but after a speech by the President in Germany billed as a “major” policy announcement the silence from the mainstream media was deafening. When the speech was referenced in many newspapers it was a page three or further back-story item. The story covered the President’s desire to “in concert” with the Russians further reduce the nuclear stockpile by one third and secure peace in places like Syria. There was no reference to the inspiring message of President Obama because it was not inspiring and in fact in was poorly delivered. I loved “tingle in my leg” Chris Matthews explanation of President Obama’s poor “optics’” in the Brandenburg speech. Chris said the sun got in his eyes and the plastic bullet proof protection used to separate the speakers from the crowd [did I say crowd, 4500 people] resulted in his inability to use the teleprompter.

Obama is developing a new business

While there may be questions about some of the Presidents priorities in regard to our countries goals and objectives it is doubtful anyone will question his commitment to education.

In a worthwhile effort to increase our countries production of students proficient in math and sciences he has committed billions of dollars to achieve this very important goal.

I don’t believe the President realized that the strategy he selected would have such far-reaching implications. President Obama has put special emphasis and financing on junior colleges and by inference online education. The boom at the junior college level is well documented and enrollment is growing at a record rate. It appears to some potential students that junior college offers a chance to spend a couple of year funded by the government while they decide, “What they really want to do.” There is nothing necessarily wrong with the mindset of junior college applicants particularly in light of the current economy and the staggering under-employment of the 18-25-age category. However it appears that if junior college gives young people a respite from earning a living education on line is even better and yes it is or can be government funded. The number of certificates and degrees coming out of on line “college” programs is staggering. I should also point out that the level of expert instruction has grown at a greatly accelerated pace. Further the certificates and degrees might actually assist the country in its shortfall in technical, science and math categories.

The unexpected growth in online degrees has generated some important observations and considerations about all of education on a global basis.

Doug Hornig, Senior Editor of “The Technology Investor” wrote an article in September of 2012 entitled “How Technology is Disrupting Education.” This story is well worth reading. Later in the article columnist David Brooks ask some important questions, “Will online learning diminish the face-to-face that is the heart of the college experience? Will it elevate functional courses in business and marginalize subjects that are hard to digest in an online format, like philosophy? Will fast online browsing replace deep reading? If a few star professors can lecture to millions, what happens to the students who don’t have enough intrinsic motivations to stay glued to their laptop hour after hour? How much communications is lost-gestures, mood, eye contact – when you are not actually in a room with a passionate teacher and students?”

Educators in the same article question the potential for generating billions of dollars of revenue for universities that get in on the online education boom created by the administration.

David Brooks summarized his observations by saying; “The early Web radically democratized culture, but now in the media and elsewhere you’re seeing a flight to quality. The best American colleges should be able to establish a magnetic authoritative presence online. My guess is it will be easier to be a terrible university on the wide-open Web, but it will also be possible for the most committed schools and students to be better than ever.”

My observation is that President Obama has opened a Pandora’s box with both huge opportunities and an uncertain impact on education worldwide plus the potential of billions dollars from both tax payers and private investments. What do you think? Write me at teamo1000@att.net and let me know what impact you believe online education will have on education and the competency of those receiving certificates and degrees from this blossoming new business.

Environmentally Sound

The current and past government administrations have made a major effort to reduce the carbons in the air and the use of fossil fuels by Americans.

The government has been successful by use of strict regulations to cause auto manufactures to increase gas mileage to significant levels with most cars in the range of 30 miles per gallon of gas. The government has also encouraged electric or hybrid autos that further reduce the use of fossil fuels.

So what is my point? We have a major problem in the pursuit of an environmentally sound, fossil fuel reduction programs. You see the federal government builds and maintains national highways from mostly taxes on these very items we are trying to control and in most cases reduce. 90% of all funds for the federal highway program come from taxes and on average 40% of all states highway road programs. The problem is the government has been too successful in the efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels and consequently taxes are down as use in down. Allow me draw an analogy; cigarettes have been determined to be bad for ones health, worse in some cases deadly for American citizens. The government answer was to keep increasing taxes on cigarette sales and hope that the product would eventually be so costly that the consumer would have to “give up the habit.” The government then dictated that the funds from the taxes on cigarettes would fund campaigns to “educate” the public on the evils of smoking and particularly target young people before they start smoking. Sounds like a good idea but was it. First let me make the point that many states used the cigarette tax money for other services provided for the citizens, services that needed to be paid for and citizens came to expect these services. The problem is that the program to cut down smoking by adults/seniors who were already smoking was too successful. Tax income to the state and feds are being reduced each year [except for the teenagers starting to smoke] and the programs funded by cigarette revenue are now insufficient to sustain those programs, programs the average American is use to receiving.

We are about to have the same problem in the area of fossil fuels with the tax base getting smaller each year as use is improved. Some states are currently in their planning process for these reduction in tax revenues including but not limited to charging consumers special road taxes based on the number of miles an individual drives each year, monitored by a special computer placed in your car and monitored by the state government computer programs. Sounds like big brother is on our case, something I believe many of Americans have had enough of invasion of privacy. Another action already taken by several states on electric cars is an annual fee added when you get your license plates renewed. It is clear the state and the feds will find a way to make up for the loss revenue on fossil fuel reduction and it will be at the expense of the individual citizen.

The dilemma is clear to me, the government’s efforts to “improve our way of life” by reducing fossil fuel use is costing and will cost even more for the average citizen. You may note I haven’t mentioned the abundance of natural gas, a clean burning fossil fuel available in this country and with the potential to replace oil-based fuels and at an attractive price. Natural gas would be available at fuel pumps and could be taxed just as gasoline has been taxed for decades. Having offered natural gas up as a working alternative I don’t believe the current administration will agree to this logical solution.

What next, well the federal government wants a reduction in the consumption of alcohol by American citizens for their own good. It seems that HHS is indicating that in order to reduce national health costs there will have to be a major reduction in the consumption of liquor and of course there will be a major reduction in tax revenues. Once again the individual pays the costs, how much can we stand?

Invemed Associates

Invemed Associates is a little known investment firm based in New York City and run by a well-known tycoon Ken Langone co-founder of Home Depot. Invemed is a small firm, fifteen people residing in the state of New York.

As most good business operations would do Invemed looked to an outside firm to get the best health care services at the most reasonable costs. They found that service in ADP, a well-known payroll service company. ADP also offered “collective” health insurance by pulling together many small companies they service with total employee in the range is 200,000 to 300,000 and purchased health insurance using the leverage of the collective people they service.

Recently ADP notified Invemed and other ADP clients that they could no longer “buy” collectively health insurance based on a law proposed by the State of New York Senate. Just after learning this change being proposed in health care purchases by the state of New York Ken got a call from the Governor of New York asking him to help sell the Governors budget in upstate New York. Ken explained how unhappy he was with the proposed bill changing the opportunity to buy health insurance thru ADP for collective savings by buying together. The Governor said he was not aware of this amendment and he immediately told the Senate to delete the amendment that would have been so costly to Ken’s family business of fifteen people when purchasing health insurance.

Ken was appreciative of the Governor’s actions but he inquired of the state agency on how and why did this amendment come into play in the state Senate and his sources said; Human Health Services in Washington had asked the New York State Senate to introduce this amendment. Why you might ask? It is pretty obvious that causing these small companies in New York to pay considerably more for health services and in the process generate more service fees and taxes for HHS to apply to the thirty five million people that the administration and HHS believes will be coming onto the Federally run health insurance program starting in 2014. I’m certain we will find similar stories in other high population key states. I urge you to protect your health insurance program by calling the company that currently services you and your family and ask what are my options and costs for health insurance in 2014