Blogs > It's Time To Take A Stand

Being a business theatre producer has allowed Brian the opportunity to meet and work with some very fascinating people from a variety of backgrounds which, in turn, has helped shape his knowledge and his opinions. His blog will not always be political, it will be about a lifetime of subjects, and nothing is off limits. “Few people have original thoughts, we are shaped by the people we know and meet” he says.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Arizona Citizenship Law!

Don't call it an immigration law because it is not an immigration law. It is simply a citizenship verification law. It is not a law against illegals, it is a law for citizenship validation. If you are Hispanic and a citizen, there is nothing to worry about. Many Hispanic speaking citizens in Arizona support the law. Why? Because they are legal. They paid their dues and became legal through whatever process they had to go through. Whether is was done legally or through previous illegal alien resident forgiveness programs, they are now legal.

When I first came to this country, I worked for a Canadian company for four years in the U.S. before I finally became legal, although I was never illegal. I paid Canadian taxes until I got my green card and then began paying U.S. taxes. I had access to all privileges afforded a U.S. citizen except the right to vote and become president, although that seems to have changed recently. I was even eligible for the draft and would have gone had I been drafted because if you want to live here, you have to abide by all of the laws.

When I became a citizen, I was the only English speaking person being sworn in that day. I was the only person who was able to speak the language.

I am in favor of the Arizona law and salute the governor for having the courage to sign it into law. Even John McCain, a RINO, is in favor of the law. I am also in favor of making it mandatory that in order to become a citizen, you must speak, read and write basic English.

Why all the hoopla is beyond me? When politics rears its ugly head, we all lose. Arizona will no more be a police state than any other state. The only difference is that Arizona is finally attempting to take care of the illegal immigration situation that is draining their economy and state budget. The Federal Government refuses to do what it is constitutionally mandated to do. Protect our borders.

Mexico, which annually deports more illegal aliens than the United States does, has much to teach us about how it handles the immigration issue. Under Mexican law, it is a felony to be an illegal alien in Mexico.

We should learn a lesson from Mexico and make it a felony to be an illegal alien.

It should be a felony to hire an illegal and it should be enforced.

If you took a survey of all the road construction companies you would probably find out that the majority of Hispanics employed are illegal. It is time to act.

That is my stand, what's yours?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Business Ethics Gone Missing!

Looking for a job for many Michigan residents is a full time event these days with the unemployment rate ranging from 12 to 30% depending on different economists opinions.

People are applying for jobs they would never have even considered two years ago. If you made $50 an hour last year, you may be offered $10 an hour for the same work.

Some employers are taking advantage of the soft job market. Companies are coming to Michigan and salivating about hiring (taking advantage of) some of the most talented people in their field.

There is something missing with the current crop of human resources professionals and that is their total lack of professionalism.Their lack of common courtesy. Their lack of business ethics. Their lack of respect for human beings.

And it is not just small independent business that lack these qualities, it seems to be almost universal these days.

I am sure some companies treat people who apply for positions with respect but I have not seen it personally, nor have I heard about it from any of my friends or associates seeking employment.

It used to be a standard policy among most companies, when someone applied for a job to send acknowledgement and receipt of the application. No more.

If you were fortunate enough to receive a call back and attend a second interview, you would be notified about the outcome of that interview. No more!

When someone was hired for the position, you used to receive a polite and pleasant notice that the position went to another person. No more!

Either most companies lack proper business etiquette or our universities are failing to educate their human resources majors in the importance of business relationships and respect for human beings.

Companies like Lowe's and Home Depot, although they have computers in their stores for applicants to apply or offer "online" applications don't even send a response that acknowledges receipt of the application. An "auto response" would be simple but it never happens.

When you click "send" it goes into cyberspace and a job applicant is left in virtual limbo.

Smaller companies are also at fault. Yes, I know that for every job there are hundreds of applicants but an email or a form letter is not expensive to send.

Many Michigan residents are hurting and just need a little respect. A note to say "thank you" for your application can go a long way to building a company's reputation and turning a potential customer into a loyal customer.

Let's bring back solid business ethics and decency.

That is my stand, what is yours?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Listen up!

I should say right from the start that I consider myself independently conservative . Periodically, when I have the time or when I am driving somewhere, I listen to conservative talk radio . Just for kicks I try to listen to liberal talk radio every now and then when I can find it just to see or hear where they are coming from.

What bugs me about many conservative radio hosts, and I lump in Limbaugh and Hannity in that group, is that they are terrible listeners. Many times I agree with their message and monologue, although Hannity repeats himself way too much. Sometimes he reminds me of a drunk sitting at a bar telling the same story over and over.

This evening as I was driving home after a late day I happened to listen to Mark Levin. Three things about Levin that really bug me is that he screams all the time, constantly insults his listeners and he always sounds angry. It doesn't matter if a listener is calling in to agree with him or not, he is down right rude. He reminds me of the quintessential rude New Yorker. He may be as brilliant as he claims but his mannerisms are way beyond acceptable.

Now Limbaugh and Hannity are not rude to their listeners, except that Limbaugh never takes a call for the first hour and a half. They only hear what they want but they usually let a person speak his or her piece. They just don't listen well.

It is a different problem with Mitch Albom. As soon as he and Kenny start to talk over each other, I am on to a different radio station.

On the other hand, listening to Frank Beckman (WJR 9:00 am to noon) is such a listening pleasure. Frank, a self proclaimed conservative, listens well, always shows respect for his guests and listeners, lets liberals have their say before rebutting them and has what is probably the "best informed audience on radio." I have many times thought that he should choke his guest for the statement they make but Frank treats them all with respect and I find myself applauding him for his sense of decency, his upbringing and his manners.

So here is my advice to talk radio hosts. Follow the Frank Beckman mold. Be knowledgeable and on top of the news. Don't scream, ever. Don't insult every guest or listener, just the ones who truly deserve it. When someone is talking either cut him or her off before speaking or wait, don't speak over them. And most importantly listen carefully.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What do Golf and Politics have in Common?

What do you get when you cross a golfer with a politician? You either end up with an politician who has ethics and integrity or you end up with a cheating golfer.

What happened on Sunday, April 18th, 2010 at Hilton Head,SC during the final round of The Heritage Golf Tournament is a lesson from which the world would benefit.

During the sudden death playoff between Jim Furyk of the U.S.A. and Brian Davis of the U.K., Davis' second shot ended in the natural bunker , just below the hole. Furyk's shot ended on the green about 30 feet from the hole. Furyk putted first because he was away. He came within a few feet of the hole. A simple 4 foot putt to get his par.

Meanwhile, Davis studied his next shot. Since his ball was in a bunker, he had to treat it like a sand trap. Once in a trap, your club face cannot have any contact with anything but the ball and sand when you swing to hit the ball. You cannot touch anything with the club. You can take a practice swing but it cannot come in contact with anything. That is the rule.

Davis lined up with the ball three or four times to try to visualize his shot. He climbed out of the bunker to look for a landing spot, then he went back to the bunker to line it up one final time. He lined it up one more time and during his back swing slightly brushed a dead piece of seaweed and he struck the ball, it flew out of the trap and landed on the green about 25 feet from the hole. All he had to do was sink the putt for par. Not an easy putt by any means but sinkable.

He did the unthinkable for the average golfer. He called a penalty on himself. He didn't hesitate for a second and immediately called for PGA Tour rules official Slugger White.

He said he didn't know for sure that his club came in contact with the seaweed on his back swing but his golf ethics said he had to say something. Replay the first time was inconclusive as was the second. Upon close inspection, something so close that even the image had to be magnified to verify. If the club did come in contact with seaweed, even on the back swing, it would mean a two stroke penalty and loss of the tournament.

The club did indeed very slightly touch the seaweed on his back stroke and he was assessed a two stroke penalty. Jim Furyk won the tournament but the class of Brian Davis and his ethics will be talked about in the golf world for years to come.

"It was classed as a loose impediment," said Davis. "Shouldn't have hit it in the hazard. What can you do? It's one of those things we all live by. Live by the rules."

So what do you get when you cross Bill Davis with a politician, you just might end up with an honest politician. Can you ever fathom a politician calling a penalty on himself. Live by the rules is not a politician's mantra, circumvent the rules is more like it.

Hats off to Brian Davis for calling a penalty on himself and thanks for the lesson of honesty and the courage. His parents certainly must be proud.

So what do Golf and Politics have in common? NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Last Chance for Dems and GOP!

Watching politics during the past 30 years has, at times, made me nauseous, to say the least. Whether Republicans or Democrats are in power, they have failed the American people. The only element that has been consistent is the constant name calling and failure to put the American people first.

Neither party is without fault. Democrats, on the liberal side, see no harm in opening their bank accounts to some very small but boisterous special interest groups and lobbyists.

Republicans, with their “better than ya’ll” attitude have failed to provide leadership when given the opportunity, have demonstrated that money is their key alley and hide behind the definition of conservative politics.

To watch their constant back and forth bickering and never putting the needs and wants of the American people in their sights is felonious at best. If there ever is a reason for term limits on the Federal level, these politicians we send to Washington are prime examples. If two terms is good enough for the President, two-terms, or at most, 8 years should be the maximum for any Congressman or Senator and then they should be banned from serving in the government forever and as lobbyists for at least 10 years. Age limit should be 75 years old and out!

Pundits will say we would have novices running the country. If you can’t learn your job in 6 months, you should be fired anyway. There is not a company that would keep you around after 6 months; most will give you 90 days to learn your job. But our elected officials get 30 and 40 years to learn the ins and outs of how to circumvent good government for their own benefit.

After Term Limits, we should reform our election process and limit the amount of money a candidate can spend on his or her election campaigns. A “level the playing field” measure bringing politics back to the grass roots level. Remember by the people, for the people, of the people? It is currently “by the extremely wealthy, for the totally corrupt, of the greedy” or as they say in Washington for “me, myself and I”.

The political leaders of our country are driving voters away from both the Republican and Democratic parties. They should pay more attention to voters and less attention to their parties and lobbyists. We will eventually win and elect actual leaders to take control away from the left and right.

The Republicans say that a third party will just empower the Democrats and give them victory. I say great because the Democrats will screw it up so bad that a third party will eventually win and then, maybe, we can move forward with less government regulations and interference. Fewer taxes, less out of control spending, fewer backroom deals, less pork projects, less waste and minimal bureaucratic BS and mostly fewer lawyers.

If the Republicans (read Conservatives) gain control and don’t perform to our desires, we will have a third party by 2014. The American people need to keep their eyes on Washington and hold them accountable.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What will Republicans do?

Assuming the November elections go the way many people think they will go and Republicans gain a majority in the House and the Senate, the questions becomes, "What will Republicans do with their majority?"

Will they repeal Health Care reform? Will they really stop all earmarks? Will they close Guantanamo Bay? Will they propose their own stimulus bill? Will they come out with their own wasteful jobs bill? Will they truly lead us out of this recession? Or will they just drink the koolaid as in the past and become more like the current majority party? So many questions, so little time.

The possibility of the Republicans repealing Health Care, in my opinion, is slim and none. Once these bills are passed into law, they are very difficult to repeal. I don't know any politician with the fortitude to follow through with repeal. They might talk a good game, remember Obama talked a great game, but actions speak louder than words.

The reality of the situation is that Health Care reform is probably here to stay, like it or not. So what Republicans need to do is fix it.

They claimed that Obama, Pelosi and Reid shut them out of the process. It is time to take the high road and prove to the American people that they can truly lead for the good of all people. It is time to rewrite the Health Care Bill into a bipartisan bill that it should have been. Incorporate Republican ideas, throw out some of the stupid ideas and keep the good stuff. Put in across state line purchasing, put in tort reform of some kind, clean up some of the language, cut the bill to less than 1,000 pages and make it understandable to the average citizen. After all, the average citizen is the one the bill is supposed to be helping. Make it user friendly, not lawyer complicated.

My Dad used to say when you have a problem, write down all possible solutions, then write down what problem each solution causes because there are always side affects. When you have that, crumple up the paper on which you wrote everything because the best answer is always the simplest one that you had in the first place. Let's apply the KISS method to government. Keep It Simple Stupid, not Keep It Stupid Simple.

My hope is that the Republicans will lead but for that to happen, a leader has to be identified from within the Republican Party and that hasn't happened yet. Republicans can't let the New York Times select its next Presidential candidate, like last time.

That's my opinion and stand, what's yours?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Feeling Bad for Illinois Citizens!

I was channel surfing the other day and happened to catch Celebrity Apprentice, where "B" list celebrities join Donald Trump on a television program in an attempt to raise money for their favorite charities. It is almost entertaining but a worthwhile cause. What caught my eye was the fact that former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was one of the celebrities and he was selected as Team Leader for this particular task.

Intrigued, I decided to watch. The more I watched the more I felt sorry for the people of Illinois. Here was their former disgraced governor displaying to the world and probably the other 12 people who were watching with me, a level of incompetence that was so complete I felt sorry for him.

Here was a man who was in charge of his state as governor and he didn't even know how to use a cell phone, let alone a computer. He didn't know how to text, fax, make a phone call with his iPhone, email or even turn on a computer. It showed just how much he depended on someone do everything for him. I couldn't believe that someone could be that technology challenged. I know many elderly people who at least know how to use a cell phone, some email and a little Facebook but this was a level of incompetence that is subterranean.

I am not saying that an elected official should be a technology expert but they claim to be experts in every other field as a matter of fact. A minuscule amount of technology knowledge should be mandatory. Makes me wonder what our governor knows or doesn't know. Actually, it scares the hell out of me.

And then he spoke. Always answering questions with the usual skill of a politician, always talking for extended periods of time without actually saying anything.

When asked by Donald Trump to explain his managerial style, he attempted to defend his lack of knowledge with rambling answers and never making sense.

If he is an example of politicians who are running our country or our state, God help us.

In the end, Donald Trump said, "Rod, you're fired." It was music to my ears.

Think I am being too harsh, Celebrity Apprentice is run again on Friday evening on CNBC from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Watch it and let me know your stand.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Concern about Meatless Day

What is all of the screaming and shouting about a meatless day? People are writing letters to the editor, calling everyone who has an opinion about it names. It is becoming rediculous.

Catholics have gone meatless on Friday's for centuries, for all I know since the beginning of organized religion. As a kid growing up in a predominantly Catholic family, we always had fish on Friday. People choose to go meatless everyday. Diets have changed to eat less meat because of the Mad Cow scare. People are just choosing to eat healthier. But do we need to proclaim a special day Meatless?

Did the Governor have to proclaim a certain day to be "Meatless" day? That seems to be the concern. She got on her bully pulpit and announced to the media that a certain Saturday was going to be Meatless Day. She once again embarrassed all Michigan residents when the national media made fun of her and all Michiganians.

L.Brooks Patterson got involved because he felt that it was inappropriate for the governor to proclaim a day meatless, not because he was playing petty politics. Many people offered their opinion claiming that it is their perogotive to eat meat or not eat meat. They are missing the point.

The point is that it never should have come out of the governor's mouth. She should never have proclaimed a day to be "Michigan Meatless Day." That is all.

Our government has bigger fish to fry (pardon the pun) than proclaim a Meatless Day.

That is my opinion, what is yours?