Monday, February 28, 2011

New Immigration Perspective

I couldn't help but be affected today by this article from journalist Andres Oppenheimer on "immigration reform". This is a very divisive topic in the USA that few seem to have an objective handle on.

Having been through more immigration "labyrinths" than the average guy, I can personally speak to the ridiculous bureaucracies of most modern day governments...not just the USA. Between Latin America and the USA, I swear that immigration bureaucracies are the most corrupt and ineffective of all government offices.

For me, the top three wasteful bureaucracies in the USA are immigration, drug enforcement, and "Department of Defense"...not necessarily in that order. If I were attempting to balance the US budget...which seems to an increasingly politically correct priority in government at least at this hour...I would probably find creative ways to cut budgets of all three divisions of these failing HALF.

Costs for incarceration of illegal immigrants is running around $6.7 Billion annually. 27% of all prisoners in Federal custody are criminal illegal aliens and the majority (63%) of those are Mexican citizens. In the midst of this you have a large bureaucratic budget that is not working. The cost of that dysfunction to our society in the USA alone is many times more than the incarceration budget. For me this continues to underline the ineptitude of governments to run any kind of business, let alone immigration.

Here are some high level solutions/ideas that come to mind that I would initiate if I were "King"...

I would take all the paper and in-person processes of immigration and redirect as much as possible "online". No paper and no paper money transactions. The first barrier to immigration would be you have to have internet access and a verifiable online identity to gain entry into the USA along with a digital money way to pay the fees. I estimate this alone would save 50-60% of the processing costs at immigration. It would eliminate unnecessary, expensive jobs in the system and right away force applicants to have enough money, education and traceability to be able to communicate with immigration through computers. Obviously the USA doesn't want the poor and illiterate any longer anyways. To gain entry to the USA you would need a debit card, mobile money or some form of identity attached to your funds..proving you have enough to sustain yourself for a period of time.

I would grant a one time amnesty to all current illegals in the USA who do not have criminal records. Once again, this process would not be "in person", but online verification only. There would be one final in-person interview to match up the required documentation with the identity of the person...not the 3+ in-person touches and standing in lines demanded by the current approach. These people would be granted a national ID card, different than citizenship, that would allow them to work and compete with their ideas in the USA system. This approach would put all of these undocumented workers immediately into the "system" from which the government taxes and pays for all of society's services. It would be illegal to grant work to anyone that does not have a passport or national ID card. The national ID card would not guarantee participation in the Social Security system. These workers would not pay into social security, nor gain any benefits from said system

Any illegals who have a criminal record would be immediately exported...OR...if their crimes are serious enough they would be put into labor camps...not prison cells. These labor camps would include education opportunities and teaching skills and trades that these people could use for acquiring jobs when/if they reenter society. Meantime, they would "work off" their cost of incarceration by performing labor. This could be anything from basic computer work, to cleaning the streets and parks of America...or making license plates like they USED to. No more "free bed and breakfast" in the USA penitentiary system. This whole thing could become a social support center of productivity and learning. Most criminals are never "rehabilitated" and return to society with a record and no jobs. No wonder they often become hardcore criminals and repeat offenders of society.

While the USA constitution covers basic rights of ALL mankind...there are many "rights" that are or SHOULD BE reserved for "citizens only". Foreigners should not have the same access to public education or social services as residents and citizens. Any "foreigner" caught with a gun or convicted of a felony should be immediately expelled from the USA without delay. The elimination of "due process" costs in our current system alone would more than cover the cost of deportation.

Immigration is a very complicated subject for me. I have many friends and acquaintances who have been forced to live "illegally" somewhere/sometime by the combination of their personal situations and/or the ridiculous barriers of immigration bureaucracies. In most cases, it is the process of immigration itself that is the cause for "illegal" pursuits. As I have written previously about Mexico immigration is silly that we make applicants of Mexico come to border towns in order to process their applications and pay their fees...knowing we are going to refuse over 80% of the applicants. After they have spent their dismal life savings trying to come to "America", it is no wonder these hordes make a "swim for it" when denied access at a point so close to the "promised land". That is a core point for my idea of taking the process "online".

I also continue to believe that what makes America great is the diversity and "melting pot" of nationalities that call themselves Americans. While it is a given there are too many Hispanic criminal elements in America, there are also way too many white criminals. We must not discriminate based on race. Most Latinos are industrious, hardworking family members. Many of them were in "America" before the Europeans...don't forget that important fact.

Here are some eye-opening links with summaries should anyone want more statistics on the immigration problem:

During the year of 2005 there were MILLIONS of illegal aliens that crossed our southern border along with as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from Terrorist Countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana, crossed into the U. S from the Southern border.

If you believe Lou Dobbs: ...the estimates by the most authoritative and recent study put the suppressed wages at $200 billion a year, as a result of immigration, both legal and illegal. We know that...the estimated costs run about $50 billion for services... we provide $7 billion in Social Security taxes every year, as if that is some sort of reasonable offset.

Way back in 2003, state governments spent an estimated $11 billion to $22 billion to provide welfare to immigrants. Those programs included Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Child Care and Development Fund, reduced meal programs in school and public housing. (Steven A. Camarota, "Back Where We Started: An Examination of Trends in Immigrant Welfare Use Since Welfare Reform," Center for Immigration Studies, March 2003) Immigration and Welfare

The total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period.'

In closing, I agree with Mr Oppenheimer's opinion related to the cost of enforcing current immigration policies...

My opinion: If President Barack Obama and Congress are seriously considering drastic cuts in public spending — including funds for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies — they should definitely cut waste in immigration enforcement spending.

At the very least, they should have a serious discussion on whether it makes sense to spend $4.5 billion in deporting people who have not committed serious crimes and do jobs that Americans don’t want to do, while slashing funds for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies whose job is to put serious criminals behind bars

Read more:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Dirty Dozen Despots

I have compiled my list of the top twelve world tyrants who should be thrown out of power...and it seems increasingly the masses of their constituents are in agreement. I call it my "Dirty Dozen Despots". There are probably 25+ other tyrants and demagogues close behind them on the world stage, but for starters the world has a much better chance for peace and prosperity if we get these first 12 out of the way.

The top twelve in this collage from the top, left to right are:

President Ali Abdul - Yemen
President Evo Morales - Bolivia
Ramon and Fidel Castro - Cuba
President Al Baraka - Bahrain
President Zine E l Abidine Ben Ali - Tunisia (GONE)
President Mubarak - Egypt (GONE)
President Bashar Al Assad - Syria
President Ahmadinejad - Iran
President Hugo Chavez - Venezuela
Moamer Gadhafi - Libya
Kim Jong Il - North Korea
President Abdela - Algeria

There are a number of other African and Asian leaders who need to be replaced...but this "dirty dozen" seem the most ready to topple, implode or who affect regional stability in the Middle East and elsewhere.

As they say, pictures are better than a thousand words. As you start reviewing photos of these despots, you start seeing common traits. The most telling sign of a dictator is their shaking of the index finger when talking. I could have delivered a photo of each one of these guys in a strikingly similar pointing pose, but I didn't want to send the message that they were all just alike. Some are more imposing and insane than others. The continual use of the forefinger strongly indicates their belief in authoritarianism and pointing their fingers at others to blame for their perceived need for "dictating" to their countrymen.

You also will see many of them often dressed in military uniforms. This sends another strong message of identifying with their military and their willingness to use them in defense of their hold on power. Whenever their own people rise up against them, they are always pointing the finger at "foreign powers" or "political enemies" for their leadership failures which somehow justifies their use of armed forces against their own people.

I have been very disappointed with my own government which has often times funded such regimes, including the former despots such as Noriega in Panama and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. The latest tally of the cost of the USA to take out Hussein's government in Iraq...a former over $775 BILLION! And he built those golden laden palaces and bought heavy munitions with OUR tax payer money that was supposedly sent to support democracy and humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people. What a TRAVESTY! We Americans really have to ask ourselves if these wars "for democracy and freedom" in Iraq and Afghanistan have been worth the $1.1 Trillion price tag which has significantly helped bankrupt our country. What would our border security, health and education systems look like with an effective infusion of that kind of money? Better yet, what would our country's balance sheet look like in support of the dollar and competitive economics if that money had been invested more effectively?

To that end, I see these popular uprisings of "the people" as doing us a big favor. At our rate of "non-peace" building as a nation, we will or would be at war with these people before long in this cause and effect world. Sure, we don't know who is going to take over for our "friend" Mubarak and other of these leaders as they get overthrown...yet I would hope we are happy to start fresh with some new, truly representative governments "of the people". I am quite sure they won't all go towards a system of "capitalism" or pure democracy. Many will lean very socialistic...and yes, Islamic. After all...that has been their culture and understanding for millenniums. Yet, I am quite confidant that if "the people" who are educated and true leaders in those countries have a new chance to govern, lead and do economic "deals" in the global marketplace, our world stands a lot better chance for peaceful co-existence than we have had during these times of extremist rulers and reactionary governance.

I will share in closing my BIGGEST concern. My biggest concern is that the leaders of the three biggest world powers...China, USA and Russia...will be quickly starting to compete for influencing and buying the new leaderships of these smaller countries. And not only that, I am quite sure they all are taking notes on how quickly popular revolutions can turn the tables on "established governance" if the masses start realizing how controlled and victimized they may be by their own leaders and military. We have too few fingers holding the capability of pushing the military...or worse yet...nuclear...power option. While I concur that we cannot let any of these despots gain nuclear military capability...the "superpowers" that already have them (including Pakistan, India, and Israel) should all find ways to turn those nuclear "swords" into "Plowshares" as quickly as possible. The only way I see that happening is to have the world so economically linked and interdependent that there is no need for such weapons and capability.

Will my country be one of the first "peacemakers" to that end? Only time will tell...and it is up to "the people" to demand that pursuit by our leaders. Demagogues and nuclear buttons are an unfortunate reality of what our world has become. May "the people" continue their pursuit of demanding global harmony, peace and a fair shot at prosperity without filling the pockets of these global despots.

By the way, does anyone know where Mubarak is hiding with his ill gotten BILLIONS? The world is shrinking and these people can no longer hide unless "our leaders" allow them to.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The legacy of Sam Taliaferro

One of my earliest influences in moving to Panama over 6 years ago passed away much too soon yesterday morning. Sam Taliaferro, probably the most renown American developer and entrepreneur in Panama has lost his two year battle with cancer.

The eloquent posting on his "Panama Investor Blog" by his friend Paul McBride sums up much of who Sam was better than I could. I only met Sam briefly a couple of times in my early years in Panama, but having observed his community in the mountains of Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama and reading his blogs these past years has helped me immensely in measuring my expectations of living and investing in Panama. We cross linked our blogs and exchanged occasional messages and references. I hope his family will leave his blog up for a long time as a reference point for new people interested in understanding what it means to live "offshore"...and in Panama specifically. Perhaps someone can even pick up where Sam left off...though those would be hard shoes to fill.

Like me, Sam was tremendously influenced by the philosophy of "objectivism" as revealed in the writings of Ayn Rand. He was a productive and "freedom loving" man who lived and breathed as he believed. Strong, resourceful, influential and ever optimistic are just a few of the adjectives I observed in him and his writings...even from a distance.

I can only hope to carry forward the truth along with others of Sam's message and "CAN DO" spirit in life. The "instructions" of Sam's example to me were:

Think positive, but be realistic. While Sam loved Panama and his creation of community in Boquete, he was also realistic about the challenges and "downsides" that living in a Latin third world country affords. He was not afraid to speak out about the problems and inconsistencies encountered here in government and culture.

Prosper but give back. It is impressive all that Sam accomplished in a relatively short life. While I'm sure he enjoyed the financial success, I didn't read him as "all about the money". I think he took more pride in "leadership" and helping others discover and act on profitable and productive living habits.

Sam demonstrated the power of promotion and positive energy. He understood and faced the challenges of living freely and without constraint in this complicated world...and he tirelessly promoted and accomplished his vision of providing an "oasis in the desert" from unbalanced taxation and government interference in man's pursuit of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

More than anything, Sam demonstrated the "power of one" to make a difference in this life. I don't know if he was a religious man or not, but he definitely believed in himself and his vision...and it appears he fought to the very end for that vision and the kind of world HE wanted to live in.

The final lesson as usual is that no matter how successful or rich we are, ones health is the greatest blessing one can have. None of us know what day or hour we may face life's final curtain. To that end, none of us should waste a day or an hour in pursuing that which we want to accomplish. I have a feeling Sam didn't waste much time nor suffer fools easily.

May we all be inspired by the legacy of Sam Taliaferro.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Energy Independence

Leave it to Jon Stewart to best narrate the core reasons why the USA and most of the developing world continues to be dependent on foreign oil and the polluting nature of fossil fuels. While world leaders including all past Presidents of the USA in recent history have been expounding on our need to get away from dependency on foreign oil...everyone continues to be increasingly dependent...and the price continues to go up and up.

Somehow the recent Arab revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia have driven oil prices up substantially.  Gas prices here in Panama are up 10% in just a couple weeks time. Of course, compared to Europe and other international locations, our gas is CHEAP!  Do any of you understand the dynamics of OPEC and how their determinations are forced on all of us?

I went to a conference this past Friday on "Renewable Energy in Panama" which was very informative on many projects happening throughout Central America in generating renewable energy.  There are currently 289 funded projects in Central America for renewable energy.  Of those, 89 are Hydroelectric plants, 103 are Biomass and 87 are wind based. The only problems with those projects are...hydroelectric is dependent on water and in many places displaces water needed for agriculture and other needs including consumption. During dry season in the tropics, the production from Hydroelectric can go down in a hurry with low water levels against grid demands.  Biomass cannot even be deemed "clean energy" in many respects because it usually involves burning of organic matter which in most cases releases harmful levels of Carbon Dioxide into the air. Wind is clean, but takes up a lot of space for the amount of store-able energy it can produce and kills a lot of birds.

I have recently become familiar with some new technologies that can produce renewable, clean energy...yet they are typically underfunded and will probably take a LONG time to reach the market.  The biggest problem with new technologies is that government regulators in the various countries are also the PRODUCERS of that energy in the traditional, expensive and polluting approach. Do you think THEY are motivated to see change in the process and cost of producing electricity and gas for running your vehicles? Think again. It is very difficult for traditional private ventures to get money behind new technologies to improve the environment and reduce costs...because they are undermined by government regulators and BIG money suppliers of energy.  Government leaders talk a big story...but meanwhile their back pockets and campaigns are filled by big oil and traditional energy producers. They can't "fly" with this because they are weighted down by "special interests".

As usual, we "the people" will continue to pay whatever price they demand to drive our cars and cool/heat our homes. We will continue to give a large percentage of our hard earned incomes to the Saudis, Russia, Venezuela and other producing sources who continue to run roughshod over the poor masses who are their constituents.  Our own US government will continue to force us to buy foreign oil instead of use our own reserves for half the price. While I am quite convinced that 1-2 weeks of everyone just walking instead of driving would make a significant dent in those "powers that be"...most of us individually are too selfish and/or hopeless to participate in such a statement.  Most people just think they have no say in the they just keep buying and driving. The "system" counts on that.

Personally I will continue to pursue and learn about renewable energy sources. I think market forces and reality will someday be the driver for change. Someone will set the pace and start making billions off of replacement energy. Only greed will drive others to replicate such success. Unfortunately it will always be about the money and not about good ecology or the health of the human race...or the funding of our adversaries.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Following the Money

As embattled Egyptian President Mubarak continues to defy the masses of Egyptians demonstrating for his removal, the military today announces its support for his decision. This could bring devastating affect to peace and stability in Egypt...and throughout the region. As we ask the question "why" these people will not relinquish their position over night, I think you will find the answer by "following the money".

Just doing a little digging of public information, it is easy to see the USA government's complicity in facilitating this situation. According to this Washington Post source...

Since the Camp David peace accords more than three decades ago, the United States and Egypt have had an unspoken bargain in terms of the roughly $2 billion in aid given each year to Cairo: The Egyptian government had veto power over which nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) could receive the money. This deal meant that funds labeled by Washington as promoting democracy often ended up being used for other projects, such as sludge removal or to bolster the very judicial institutions used to jail democracy advocates.

Meanwhile, the largest chunk of the annual largess, about $1.3 billion, was given to Egypt's military and security forces. The security forces have been repeatedly cited in the State Department's human rights report for torture, prolonged detentions without charge and other abuses. While overall aid to Egypt has declined in recent years, the budget for the security forces and the military has remained mostly intact. 

Should we then be surprised that the military would support this beleaguered President in Egypt? I can imagine them all now in back rooms of government offices cutting deals and dividing the spoils before leaving power. A couple million for this general, a few hundred thousand for the Chief of Police...and of course no one will probably ever know how much Mubarak himself has pilfered away in secret accounts and holdings. Much of this thanks to the USA taxpayers contributions ANNUALLY for almost 30 years of $2 billion with a B.  Now we really understand the reluctance to give up power in the world...and the double standard the USA government once again demonstrates in supporting, and next day withdrawing, from world tyrants and dictators.

I just hope before they finally get Mubarack out of there that some funds are still left to rebuild the country with. I can see it now..."New appropriations bill before Congress promising $2 Trillion in funding to restore confidence in Egypt".

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 all or nothing game

As we see the fall of Tunisia's government based on "the people's" revolution in the streets and now Egypt's Mubarrak under pressure for 3 weeks to quit...we are reminded both of the "power of the people" when they unite...and the tenacity of dictators to stay in power.

Dictatorship is an "all or nothing" game. What happens to "retired" dictators?  They sometimes are executed for their lunacies while in power. More often they are "exiled"...usually living on multi millions pilfered from the coffers of their countries. Yet, for all the money they steal, it does nothing for them compared to ...POWER. That is very evident in the ludicrous ploy of "Baby Doc" Duvalier who is now back in Haiti trying to fill the leadership vacuum AGAIN. Duvalier served as dictatorial President of Haiti for 15 years after the death of his father who had ruled for almost 14 years previous. It is quite obvious that "Baby Doc's" return is driven by his greed and potential return to power. Plus, he has already run through the millions he pilfered while in power through drug running and probably outright transfers from government accounts. I doubt his claims of "patriotism" for his country have an ounce of sincerity behind them. It is about the millions he is trying to get out of a Swiss bank account that the Haitian government has tied up against his claims. After all, he has no other experience or knowledge for producing money by hard work.

The cause and effect of tyranny and dictatorship is devastating. Consider Cuba which has been stuck in a time warp since the 50s when it comes to technology, wealth and lifestyle.  Only the government and military has any sense of wealth or prosperity.  Obviously that great "liberator" Castro has played his "all or nothing" game quite well against the most powerful country in the world. It is quite the defeat for my country that our policies towards Cuba have done nothing to limit this guy's delusion for over 50 years. It is just this form of success that inspires OTHER demagogues like Chavez, Daniel Ortega and Morales in Bolivia to carry on their deceitful and irrational leaderships over weak-minded, poor populaces.  It is obvious that it is the lack of education and poverty that spur the masses to believe in these false leaders.  People have short memories for false promises, especially when they are too busy surviving to think about what their leaders are doing. Plus we are suckers for sanctimonious calls on our "patriotism".

The biggest problem in this dictatorship dilemma is...when you take the guy out...who is there to replace him?  Who can the majority trust and vote for who will truly have THEIR best interests at heart?

A family member used to say "the best form of government would be a benevolent dictatorship".  I have grown to think this is what most of the world populace truly wants. They don't want "democracy" or true "free enterprise". They don't want to have to compete or struggle for anything. Most people are "sheep" who just want to be fed and cared for...content to graze wherever they are led. Unfortunately, this is exactly what dictators and power mongers count on to sustain them.  They make just enough promises...and steal just secure their future and re distribute enough to those who didn't produce it to keep their support and obedience.

As is the cycle of revolution, the masses eventually wake up to their illusion...many times too late or at great cost.  Every empire had had this cycle of by benevolence, sustain by violence, and failure by irrelevance.  When the sheep go hungry, they can quickly turn into a "pack of wolves".  This is what we are seeing in many places in the world today. I would argue we are beginning to see this in the USA as well. Big government with entitlements and sustained financial cover ups have put the majority of Americans in peril. We don't know exactly how we got here...but we don't take responsibility and instead blame "our government".  While we probably should to a great degree...we also need to remember that our VOTES put those "leaders" there.

Whether a country is socialistic, democratic or a system can survive without support of the "sheeple".  With the power of today's social networking and commonality...the masses are now waking up to the realities of their power against the dictators.  I believe many "dictators" are shaking in their boots in these times...while putting their military on standby.  That is always the first panic button pushed in their "all or nothing" game.  It's one thing to use the military paid for by the people to defend their borders...quite another thing to turn that military against the people for a frivolous hold on power. 

Yes...we all need to be concerned about what leadership will fill the vacuum in places like Tunisia and Egypt. Yet, part of revolution that brings positive change is giving someone else a chance. That cannot happen until the old regime is gone for good in this "all or nothing game" of power brokering.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Faith is something you DO

This mornings highlight news is about our President Obama's most recent revelations about his "faith". I  think this is a subject that this President can never win in America. Since he is not a consistent "church goer", he gets a lot of criticism and questioning regarding IF he has beliefs and WHAT are those beliefs. In the political arena these are fair questions in my opinion, because everyone wants to know or understand the core values of someone in such a powerful position in our world. Yet to me it has little to do with whether he goes to church or not. Many of the President's detractors have spread a lot of nasty and demeaning articles accusing him of being Muslim because of his father's Muslim roots...and others of the religious right and Republican ranks have come right out with accusations that he is the "Anti Christ".  I haven't seen anything that proves to me either accusation...and I HAVE read one of his books. :)

I think this article based on Obama's comments at the National Prayer Breakfast is helpful in balancing out and understanding the President's faith. While I continue to be skeptical and sensitive to politicos who lay claim to "God's influence" while in office (since history is littered with Empiricists who claimed God's mantle on their leadership), it makes sense that this President takes this appropriate time to clarify his personal beliefs. I'm sure his detractors will never accept him as a faith based equal, but it does not offend me that he attempts to clarify and align himself with "believers". As I think about it today, I probably have more in common with this Presidents position on faith than I do many of his other policies.

I have been reading George Bush's "Decision Points" (Christmas gift from Mom...) which has been more enlightening than I anticipated. The book is heavily focused on how Mr. Bush pursued divine guidance and "peace" in the many crucial decisions he had to make during his 8 years in office. Only time will tell the story on how some of those decisions turned out...and I am still not convinced that all of his decisions were of a "Biblical" or Christian nature. Yet, I will give him...and President Obama...the benefit of the doubt that they each are sincerely seeking wisdom and direction from being in touch with their "spiritual" sides.

I continue to be uncomfortable with the importance so many Americans place on knowing the "Theology" of their political leaders. We continue in our humanity to lash out at "otherness" in defense of our own beliefs and ways of life. We continue to fight wars or stop communication with other humans simply based on what name they call "God".  Most fundamental religions preach some form of "come apart and be separate" from the masses. While I have come to understand that the intention of that message is that "people of faith" be a shining example of "Godly" behavior in this world, it is unfortunately interpreted by many to mean you can't "mix" with people of other races or faiths.  This continues to feed the bigotry and false fears in human nature regarding "otherness".

I have been fortunate in life to be exposed through real relationships to all three dominant world religions...Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  I have come to realize that all of them share 80-90% of the same behavioral expectations of a "Godly life". The primary differences have been cultural and surface based on geography, dress, what names they use for "God" based on what book they were raised on, and the false Theology of "exclusivity". I don't think "God" is particularly happy with where any of these religions have gone in dissecting and dividing the world. I think "unity with diversity" should be the educated believer's response to what is going on in this world.

Finally, I would suggest that "Faith is something you DO...not something you CLAIM".  From my Christian heritage I remember a passage in the Bible that stated "faith without works is dead".  In another place it states "by their fruits you shall know them" regarding who is of true faith.  Carrying this one step further, Jesus said "by this shall all men know you are my disciples...if you have love one for the other".

This is one practice of "faith" that I continue to judge myself and others by when it comes to discussions of  faith. If I can't feel the "love" in what is being proclaimed or practiced...I am not inclined to think very much of someone's "faith".  I think much of the rest of the world looks at that very similarly.  True faith is not about guns and bombs, cloaks and daggers...or politics. It is more about the little things we each can do to make this world safer and freer...for all...through love, humility and mutual acceptance.