Congress– lead or get out of the way

Merriam Webster defines leadership as:

: a position as a leader of a group, organization, etc.

: the time when a person holds the position of leader

: the power or ability to lead other people

 Taken into the context of our US Congress today, we can see the definition to be true as a POSITION, meaning, they do hold that position, and the TIME, they are our leaders today, and the POWER, they do have to power to enact laws and to fix our societies problems. We elected them to do just that, so they do have the power to do so. The ABILITY is the only thing in question at the moment. So far this congress has been the most useless bunch of humans ever gathered at Washington to date. If they have the ability to lead, they are not proving it to anyone.

The definition goes on to say:

Full Definition of LEADERSHIP

:  the office or position of a leader
:  capacity to lead
:  leaders <the party leadership>

 

Here again we see the OFFICE or POSITION to be true. Our Congressmen are in a position of leadership by virtue of having been elected to that office by the people.

The CAPACITY to lead is baffling. I assume you cannot be a leader if you don’t have the capacity to lead, but with the lack of action calls this capacity into question. How can you prove a capacity if you don’t do anything?

Which gets us to the ACT or an INSTANCE of leading. Here we see our Congressmen are clearly striking out, failing to act on immigration for the umpteenth year in a row, failing to enact the DREAM Act even though half of the committee were Republicans and half were Democrats. You would have thought that if the committee could reach a consensus, they could have convinced their party to the merits of why they came up with the proposal they did. Instead, the Democrats voted for it to pass the Senate, but the Republicans refused to bring the bill to the floor and the lawmakers that were a part of the committee that created it were suddenly off the radar. Silent. It appeared they were in hiding.

The last definition only restates the name and doesn’t do anything to define the term beyond what the first one did.

So there we have it, by definition, Congress are leaders in name and position and potential power only. They have NOT shown any action that would define them as leaders in the true sense of the word.

And Democrats– Just because you presented the House with a bill, that doesn’t mean you can just sit back and say, “look, we gave them a bill and they are doing nothing with it. Waaaaaah!”  Where is your LEADERSHIP? Why aren’t you screaming bloody murder for all the hard work you put into the bill is going to waste? Why aren’t you putting pressure on the GOP to get off their asses and do something? Democrats may not be evil, but they sure are pathetic.

Leaders who do nothing. What kind of leadership is that?

The Republicans problem is not with immigrants, it is with themselves.

The Republicans have backed themselves into a corner on, not only the immigration debate, but in the electoral process as well. Each and every day more and more young voters, latino voters, asian voters, and more, turn 18 and become eligible to vote. Will they vote Republican? What possible reason would they have to do so?

The old white Republican voter base is dying and their replacements are not even close to the numbers they are losing. Without standing behind immigration reform that backs immigrants, small business and tech-startups, they are shrinking their popularity and their numbers, and will lose any hope of retaking the White House for decades to come.

It will be a long time before America forgets the way they treated immigrants, and women, the elderly and the poor. The stigma they have brought down upon themselves will last for many years, and because of that, America will be the poorer for it.

America needs a strong Republican party. America needs good values and a balanced government. Give anyone too much power, and they will become corrupt, selfish dictators.

America can’t afford to be ruled by fascists. We need a strong Republican party, just like we need a strong Democratic party. We need a balanced government, and because of this, Republicans need to stop trying to take over our government and focus on becoming a part of this great system we have built. If they don’t, they will alienate themselves from America and become hapless, angry voyeurs, who watch the parade of history go by, without ever having a float of their own.

How sad is that?

Jon Stewart- Immigration Reform Hero: sums up our immigration problem

Jon Stewart sums up our immigration problem in seven minutes.

Perhaps this is what it takes to get people to see the truth about the Republican platform and how disingenuous it really is:

keep it short and to the point.

The Republican gift that keeps on giving

Republicans refusing to discuss immigration reform is the gift that keeps on giving. The Wall street journal, a conservative publication itself, ripped the Republicans for promising an immigration compromise, and then promptly denying its even possible.

I don’t know what the fuss is all about. I’ve been saying the Republicans feign interest in immigration reform when they need to, but then retreat to ultra-conservative party lines when the rubber actually meets the road.

In standard Orwellian fashion, the Republicans have shot themselves in the foot again, this time not even waiting until the end of the term to announce that immigration reform will not happen this year. That shows America they planned to sit on this issue, no matter how much it divides the country, until they think they can get it done the way they want it to get done. The old Republican refusal to negotiate stands as true today as it ever has.

Gridlock in Congress? The Republicans may well try to blame the Democrats, but I don’t thing they’re fooling anyone. How can anyone buy the “we refuse to negotiate and it’s the Democrats fault” excuse? Do the Republicans really think we’re that stupid?

I try to be impartial about politics in general. I don’t really care one way or another about Democrats or Republicans–Neither of them can seem to get anything done. What I do care about is what is being said, who is saying it, and how does that affect my family, and millions of other Americans like me, when it comes to keeping us all together. If the Democrats, or Peace and Freedom party, or the Green party, or anyone else, were pulling all this refusal to fix this system crap, I’d be angry at them. It just so happens that the majority of the stalemate in Washington, at least when it comes to the immigration fiasco, has Republican fingerprints all over it.

 

US Immigration Reform Plan A Easy

Our immigration policy should be easy to participate in

and easy to manage

EasyButton

All businesses know that the more complex the process—the more opportunities for mistakes find their way into the product.  There should also be plenty of offices to process applicants so there is no 10-20+ year backlog like the ones that exist for many visas today.

 

What does Easy Mean?

 

  • NO huge applications with difficult to understand language.
  • Many offices to file applications in.
  • No long waits.
  • No retroactive disqualifications.

Disqualifications should occur immediately. Either someone is acceptable for a visa, or they are not. If they are here already and they don’t qualify, send them home. If they are not here yet, don’t let them in.

When-

There are three main time frames our immigration system needs to deal with right now:

1)   People already here- Mandatory participation. Photo- application- DNA sample- held until DNA processed & application approved and ID created. Extra fee for meals & lodging if needed.

2)   Pre-arrival- Just like the passport process, only more detailed. photo-application-DNA sample-  these people will already have been issued an ID card that can be used to identify and track the immigrant.

3)   In the country and Undocumented- These people are already here.  Incarcerate and process into the system. (Anyone caught in the country not in the system one year after it begins is automatically processed (put into the system) then flagged as ineligible and sent home where they must wait one year, before applying again and get into the system.)

Where-

There are many places immigration can be logically thought to be  processed:

  • local government offices;
  • law enforcement offices;
  • passport processing offices;
  • IRS offices. . .

We should talk about the pros & cons regarding each possibility before determining the most convenient, efficient, and financially prudent way to proceed.

How-

This is the area we need to really focus on. I can only give broad strokes here. I don’t claim to know everything about everything, but I do know, at a minimum, our immigration system needs to identify and track the immigrant to ensure homeland security is maintained at the highest level we can aspire to without subjugating an individual’s human rights.  It also needs to be a level playing field where minority or poverty makes participating impossible. The more we exclude groups of people, the more people will not participate and this all will have been for nothing.

We can establish an individual’s identity by sampling their DNA and affixing that code, with fingerprints to a photo ID. This will at the very least establish someone’s ID if they previously have none.

Line-11 lineDivider

 

Some examples of raising the bar too high and hobbling the immigration system to attain mediocre results:

hobbling 5 – 30 year waiting list just to become eligible for a lottery.

This is asinine. How could this possibly benefit our country or our immigrants? This provision is nothing more than the Republicans’ way of trying to punish people who have been trying to work around a system that the legislators themselves have put off for too many years. We should be punishing the congressmen for not doing this sooner, and not the immigrants for having to deal with such a pathetically broken system. Perhaps we should give the Republicans a taste of their own medicine and tell them if this provision stays in the final version of the law that goes to vote, we should vote out of office everyone who supported it. (Democrats included) Let’s see how forgiving they want us to be, when they’re the ones on the hot seat.

Retroactive disqualification.

To disqualify someone because they arrived here on an arbitrary. Again, what does this get us? This will most certainly guarantee a percentage of undocumented immigrants for future complaining of a “failed immigration bill” by the very people who insisted on hobbling it.  Even strict parents know you have to give someone an opportunity to succeed before you can punish them for failing.

Setting a stiff penalty for compliance.  

This will surely keep people who can’t afford the penalty in a position for further abuse and misery.  There are other ways to monetize this program and keep it self-supporting, so this little barrier to entry will weaken the effectiveness of the program, not make it stronger. Haven’t the poor been marginalized enough? Shouldn’t they too have the same opportunities as everyone else?

Making only a few offices where visas can be processed.  

Creating long lines and huge distances to be travelled, income to be lost, children to be looked after. . .  This would surely constrain the effectiveness of the program as well. We need to reduce the excuses for non-participation as possible to ensure the program’s effectiveness. If we do everything we can to ensure everyone can participate, and they still don’t enter the system, then the guilt and repercussions will be all on them.

The consistent theme here has been one of simple human nature: the more difficult something is to comply with, the less people will comply with it. Try it at home, at work—anywhere.

images

 

For an example of difficulty reducing a law’s effectiveness, just look out your window the next time you are in traffic.  Are there single people in the carpool lane? Are there people passing you by, ignoring the speed limit? Do people change lanes or turn without using turn signals? We can barely be expected to obey these few simple laws, yet most of us break them every day. How can we expect anyone to wait 30 years for a green card so they can work, or to ensure their family will not be separated?

dividerTAKE THE TESTdivider

Would you wait?

Number in order of preference (Reality should be your guide)

How often would you (or have you) wash your car if you:

 

  • Had only a hose.
  • Had a hose, bucket, soap, sponge, bug & tar remover, Windex, Amorall, towels, a shammy, and a spray nozzel with 7 different settings.
  • Pay the carwash  $15.00.
  • Make your son do it.
  • Wait ’till next week when you have more time.

 

All of these offer a different degree of difficulty. You can easily see that the easier ones would get the highest usage. This is basic human nature, and we all know it exists. We also know what kind of results we get when we force people to be something they  currently are not doing. Do we want that type of result with our new immigration legislation?

We should demand from our lawmakers a new immigration policy that works to identify ALL of the people in our country. Our current underground class of citizen should not be permitted or assisted to continue like it does today. We are intelligent enough to create a program to do this. We just need our lawmakers to get the old chips off their shoulders and work toward that goal, instead of trying to exact revenge on a class of people who have little going for them as it is.

Next up we discuss the importance of ACCURACY to this process.

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Inexpensive Immigration Reform

Inexpensive

 

price-cut

Why is being inexpensive necessary for any new immigration policy to be effective?

To ensure participation.

 

If the majority of the people don’t participate, or even if a large number of people don’t participate, very little will have changed and we will have wasted our time.

When we increase participation of our new immigration laws, it helps ensure the success of the program on many different levels:

  1. It removes the shadow community that is highly vulnerable.
  2. It reduces the number of unknown people who may be a possible danger to our communities and our national security.
  3. It also removes the shadow economy and it’s deflation of wages for everyone concerned. This protects both immigrants from wage and benefit abuse, as well as citizens from any associated wage and benefits reductions in industries associated with undocumented workers.

Barriers to entry, financial or otherwise, will only make the law less effective and therefore less beneficial for all of us.

So what are some of the ways we can reduce the cost of this program without needing immigrants to come up with unrealistic sums of money, or require subsidies from the American taxpayer?

  • Make the fees annual, like auto registration, instead of one lump sum.
  • Take advantage of already built-in infrastructure such as DMV offices. Post offices could also use a shot in the arm with this additional revenue stream, as there are many of them, located all throughout the US, and staffing and services are on the decline.
  • Using data infrastructure already in place ie: crime database, dmv records, tax records, and medical records. All these datacenters can be cross-checked to ensure location and identity of people on an ongoing basis.

If we can keep the overhead down, immigrants should be able to financially support this program by themselves through annual fees and possible payroll taxes. (more on that later)

Using built-in infrastructure would also help speed this program into place. We will need more people to staff these offices, and programmers and data technicians to link up datacenters and expeditiously process and utilize the mountains of data we will be collecting.

The following is a benefits comparison chart that should help visually represent the anticipated benefits to both US citizens and immigrants, showing many reasons for both to participate and help ensure the success of the program.

Good for US

Good for Immigrants

   Affordable For both taxpayers and immigrants.

x

Should not place financial burden on us.

x

Increases our border security

x

Annual and payroll fees, helps locate immigrants if needed.

x

Participation fees help pay for ongoing program overhead.

x

x

Affordability increases compliance, which increases the effectiveness of the program.

x

x

Affordable immigration naturally prohibits immigrating illegally.

x

Reduces their dependence on parasitic employers and illicit vendors.

x

x

Reduces fraud.

x

Reduces victimization.

X

Uses infrastructure already in place as much as possible.

As you can see by the above chart, the benefits of having an inexpensive immigration program are even more beneficial for the United States, than it is for the immigrants.

A few other things need to be said about funding, especially when politicians are involved:

  1. Immigration fees sole purpose is to fund immigration programs.
  2. Never raid the immigration coffers for any other program.
  3. Funding is not a punishment, but rather, a pay-to-play fee.

This last part is important; the higher the costs involved, the less effective the program will be.

The importance of inexpensive immigration programs can be argued all day by the most conservative of us- but the facts won’t change.

Here are some everyday examples of financial barriers to entry:

How many people own Lexus?      How many people own Toyotas?

How many people fly in a private jet? How many people fly commercial 

How many people join Country Clubs?  How many people golf on public courses?

Our new immigration policy should be inexpensive to ensure near 100% participation. This will help protect the immigrant from abuse and encourage their participation that much more. Immigration needs to be easier and less expensive than paying hundreds of dollars for a coyote to lead you through the desert. The fact that this option is already often used shows the insanity of the legislation we currently have in place.

Any immigration program should also be easy to participate in, which we’ll look at next.

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America Needs A DREAM

The problem with the immigration debate in this country these past several years has been the discussion is taking place on two different levels.

1) Immigration is bad for AmericaAmerica Needs a DREAM
2) Immigrants are people and deserve rights

Because our national discussion is happening on two different levels, it will just go around and around in circles, never really getting anywhere, until we start having the same discussion. It’s true that immigrants should be given equal rights in this country, but we need to defend our position on the same grounds we are being attacked.

Check out “America Needs A DREAM” for FREE in Amazon lenders library!

I have written an ebook that focuses on responding to the arguments the anti-immigration movement dishes out. We need to be talking about how immigrants are beneficial to the US, and how badly we need to correct the laws that are currently not serving our best interests.

w/ bonus Interactive DREAM Act Discussion Guides

In the back of the book are a few interactive discussion guides that will help keep this discussion on the same page and take away the arguments that the anti-immigration movement would like us to believe are truths. They are not, and I include links to studies and articles that back up these arguments, taking the wind right out of their sails, and exposing the lies.

Please go to Amazon.com and buy America Needs A DREAM, or, if you have an Amazon Prime account, you can check out the book for free. The interactive discussion guides in the back is well worth the $1.95 all by itself.

Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list to be notified on important the Dishwasher’s Son events.

We all need to dig in and let our politicians know what we want them to do, and why they need to be doing it. Until we make this crystal clear, we are going to be living this debate indefinitely.

Mike J. Quinn
Author
America Needs A DREAM
The Dishwasher’s Son

Step #4 of the GOP grieving process: depression

The Republicans have officially entered the depression stage of the grieving process and are feeling the dark loneliness that often accopmanies depression. According to a recent pole, 25% of Republicans don’t even like their own party. This admission, coupled with the rumblings of possible change to a more “modern” political ideology, as well as a few early admissions of outdated views by the party from some of it’s more liberal members, and it is clear that a cloud of despair hangs grimly over GOP members, when thinking about their future.

 

Recently, the GOP tried to tell us they are fundamentally conservative, but they should also consider other viewpoints in order to stay intact. This is exactly the kind of backpedalling that is signaling a huge identity crisis within the party. Older party leaders who still view this country with an eye towards the past vs the younger party members who look to the future. This could be the perfect time to realign the GOP platform’s ideology with the rest of America. I know it’s sometimes difficult to admit when you’re wrong, but if you really listen to an argument, if it makes more sense than your own, it could be time to consider changing your position on the subject, not just agree to disagree.

 

One example of the GOP being wrong is on it’s attitude towards Gays and their actively advocating second-class status for a group of Americans because they don’t agree with their lifestyle. It’s okay not to want to be gay, but it’s not okay to treat people with less respect and offer them less in regards to human rights, than currently offered to the heterosexual citizens they do agree with.

 

Bringing this same view to immigration, as the GOP continue to postpone progress towards new legislation that will give our de facto citizens real legitimacy and therefore access to basic human rights, they will keep these workers and neighbors under protected, under represented and over exposed to abuse. If  these same GOP members were to view this type of behavior in another nation, they would call it discrimination. If they didn’t like that nation, they may even call it oppression. They might even call for it’s immediate end, and possibly call for sanctions to be imposed until it did.

 

Our country has been evolving into a much more democratic society for over two hundred years now. Our progress on human rights has been a slow, gradual process, and the Republicans, by no means, have been the only ones at fault. We have enjoyed fits and spurts of human rights progress, coupled with major setbacks, such as: the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and it’s subsequent Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943; the Braceros program in 1949, and it’s subsequent “operation wetback in 1954.” We have been working towards achieving the high standards of human rights we set before ourselves, and push for our earthly neighbors to achieve, for a long time now. Surely we understand the difficulty in surmounting the many obstacles that have kept us from reaching our own lofty ideals thus far.

Standing in the middle of the road and shouting down progress will not give much life to anyone’s political future.  This is what happens when you do the majority of the talking and relatively little listening. This is sometimes called: drinking too much of your own Kool-Aid. Every once in a while, even the most successful politicians need to sit at someone else’s table and see what they are drinking.

 

As my mother used to tell me, “Try it, you just may like it.”

 

And if, for some reason, you do find that the opposing views make more sense than your own, changing sides does not have to mean failure. It could just mean that you are now on the side of the winning. It’s hard to be depressed when you’re winning.

Republican Party Defeat stage #3 Bargaining

Continuing with the 5 stages of grief the Republicans will go through, we find ourselves right in the middle of stage 3– Bargaining.

The old Republican guard has been negotiating their way back to power through the Fiscal Cliff issue. Refusal to cooperate was their only card, and they plaid it for all it’s worth, waiting until the last minute to get the smallest deal they could in order to save face and make it look like they are still the people in power in Washington.

Is it me, or does John Boehner look like he’s trying to be co-president?

Ever since McConnel’s remark about making sure Obama was a one-term president, he’s been acting like he lives in the White House. (or wants to)

Unfortunately, with all the hubris the Republican party has been showing this past two years: acting like spoiled children; refusing to play nice with anyone (even themselves); insisting on keeping tax breaks for the richest Americans at all costs; telling women that getting pregnant after being raped is a decision they have control over. (i’m not sure how that one works)  I think their arrogance will cost them more than they know. The America they long for, two cars in every garage, Jobs for life, white majority neighborhoods, schools and workplaces. . . This may have been a Norman Rockwell snapshot of  “the good ol’ days” but times, they are a changin’ and we need to keep up with them, or we risk holding ourselves back and watching emerging countries become the king of the heap while our way of life gets more backward every year.

We don’t want politicians who care more for their party and financial supporters than they do the people who put them there and rely in them to take care of our countries business for the sake of the people.

If the people are not the #1 job they wake up to each and every day, then I think we can surely find better.

Let’s hope the freshman that were elected this November remember why they are there. It’s obvious many of the senior members of the House and Senate have forgotten.

It will be too much to ask freshman coming into a new job, in an unfamiliar environment to break out and lead those whose guidance they are surely now seeking.  But let’s hope that their Bulls#!t radar is functioning properly so they can at least distinguish between those who work for the good of the country and those who work for the good of each other.

Immigration reform in 2013 is not a sure thing.

Immigration reform in 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Is anyone’s guess.

If you have been reading the news lately, it appears the pundits are all over the map when it comes to predictions about immigration reform in 2013.

 Some say immigration reform in 2013 is going to happen:

http://immigrationlegalnews.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/senate-gang-of-eight-to-lead-immigration-reform-in-new-congress/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-seems-poised-to-retool-deportation-laws/2013/01/03/7cb52930-55db-11e2-8b9e-dd8773594efc_story.html

 

Some say immigration reform in 2013 remains unclear:

http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/viewart/20121230/NEWS01/312300027/Immigration-laws-outlook-still-unclear

 

Some say immigration reform in 2013 is not likely to happen:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-immigration-20121230,0,1823657.story

 

Some say it should happen and that immigration reform  in 2013 may even help stimulate our economy away from the fiscal cliff that so captures our national attention at present.

http://www.gazette.com/opinion/income-149099-debt-ratio.html

 

It is with this mixed bag of  uncertainty that we need to push the hardest we have ever pushed in order to get some immigration reform in place that will  help our youth achieve higher education goals,  help this economy grow, and make it safe for families to stay together.

Write your congressman NOW—TODAY, and let them know you want immigration reform THIS YEAR!

We all saw what pressure can do for Hurricane Sandy Relief. This could be our path to immigration reform in 2013 too.