To say immigration has been a hot topic button of late in the United States would be an understatement. It’s an extremely complex issue involving legal immigration, illegal immigration, DACA, families, persecution, better way of life, lines, separations and walls. Whether you approve or disapprove of how the current administration and legislators are handling this hot potato, when all is said and done, it is immigrants that have had a large impact on our businesses and nation.
It also seems during our history as a country we haven’t always been kind to newly arrived immigrants. Just ask the Chinese, Italian and Irish immigrants who arrived. They threaten our jobs, they can’t speak english, they look funny, they breed like rabbits. See, nothing new. My grandparents came to this country in the early 1900’s to escape religious persecution. People feared them due to hatred and ignorance spread by jealous and hateful people who got others to burn their businesses, their homes and in some cases beat them to death. Even though my grandfather was a decorated calvary soldier for the Tzar he was still treated like crap. After much discussion with the whole family they along with some, left for the U.S. while others decided to stay put. My grandparents arrived here and found people who again hated them but for just being here and not speaking enough english. They survived, had four sons, who all proudly served in the military during World War II. My dad is the sailor on the left.
Diversity allows an exchange of ideas that are filtered through different points of view, different cultures, different educational backgrounds that can lead to a consensus and solutions like creating cures to disease, making a better process to produce steel and overall improve our way of life. Immigrants have also had a positive influence helping this country become the power house and defender of the free world it had become which can earn you a fast track to citizenship especially if you possess a skill set we desperately need.
A case in point is Dr. Wernher Magnus Maximillian Freiherr von Braun who was such an immigrant. Born and raised in the small town of Wirsitz, in the Posen Province, in what was then the German Empire (now Poland) he grew up to become the main driving force behind developing and oversaw the building of the V-2 rocket for Nazi Germany. At the time, 1944, it was Germany’s Weapon of Mass Destruction and were built using slave labor consisting of concentration camp prisoners and other enemies of the state. It may have been intended just for military targets but was also used on civilian targets, mainly the city of London, full of defenseless women and children. Wernher, also a Nazi party member did a fabulous job for his fuhrer by not only killing over 7,000 people with this weapon but generated fear and panic amongst the public to help get a victory for Germany.
After VE and VJ days the United States was fast approaching the cold war and we still had only one way to deliver a nuclear warhead, dropping it from flying fortress bombers like the Enola Gay so ideas were desperately needed to give us the edge. Lo and behold along came Werner with his knowledge of rockets and with his posse of German rocket scientist. So rather then prosecute them all for war crimes, they made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. Work for us building rockets and we’ll spare you going to Nuremberg and trials for war crimes. Wernher was allowed to work with our military while it wasn’t announced publicly for about 6 months over fears of back lash. Soon after that he was transitioned to the director of NASA and began our space program in ernest while put on the fast track to citizenship.
The ultimate payoff came in the summer of 1969 just about a month before young people began gathering at Yasgur’s farm, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Would we have made it without Wernher’s help? Eventually but it would have been even a longer struggle and what if the Russians had gotten to him first?
Before you judge and treat that person with the accent like an idiot or terrorist, or speak louder since your raised voice will help them understand english better, remember they are also human beings who are not better, not worse, just different and you don’t know what next innovation, invention or cure will come from their mind.
Last issue we learned how the professionals keep their facilities free of vermin and how you can implement the same practices in your own home. Do you wonder how the large food companies keep their facilities so clean and spotless to ensure you get the highest quality product? I don’t know about you but I don’t always remember how long ago I cleaned behind the fridge, or how often I clean the range hood grills. Was it last month? Last year? The professionals use a fabulous tool to track cleaning that you can as well to make sure all is done on a regular basis and it’s called a “sanitation schedule”.
Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a cleaning schedule that is posted in a convenient location where everyone can see it. It lists every component, every apparatus, every location that food touches and every other nook and cranny from receiving to production to packaging to the warehouse and finally shipping. Also on the schedule along with each item listed is when it should be cleaned, who’s responsible to make it happen and when it did happen. This ensures a uniform and continuous cleaning program that you can also schedule high traffic and critical areas for more intense cleaning.
You can do the same thing for your home. Great areas, to begin with, would be the kitchen and bathrooms. So what do we need to clean? Use a critical eye and look around the kitchen and break it down. Don’t forget any surfaces. As an example, I have behind the refrigerator scheduled as an annual chore and then for the stove vent hood, it’s done along with the grease traps and vents every other week May-Sept and then up to once a week Oct – Jan when we do more cooking and entertaining. How about inside the refrigerator? The door shelves, the produce storage bins, the ice bin. All items you may miss but with your sanitation schedule, you are confident they’re clean and fully operational. Don’t forget the pantry and other cabinets as well that you use to store food items. When you’re cleaning them also keep an eye out for signs of infestation like mouse droppings and that food is properly sealed so it won’t entice unwanted visitors.
Get the kids involved too by allowing them to make a cleaning schedule for their own rooms as well as other cleaning chores you may assign them. This is also the perfect time of year to get this started and a great habit to develop. So get your sanitation schedule together, (please feel free to change and tailor the name to suit your needs) and then you can run your household just like a professional.
Want to learn more? It’s easy. You can begin by subscribing to this blog or you can also research it or google it. Try the term HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) to get you started. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question.
They say the road to hell is paved with good intensions and this photo pretty much sums up that sentiment. Safety was the mall-master’s good intension here as they try to protect pedestrians coming and going into the front entrance of a busy department store. However, it doesn’t work on so many levels and that’s what Really Burns My Butt . While I waited for my wife to return with coffee and breakfast from a Starbucks, I was on car sitting duty since it was loaded with suitcases, dirty laundry, left over booze and food for our weekend retreat, so I watched this intersection for inspiration and entertainment. In the 20 minutes I watched, NOT one car stopped at this poor wallflower of a stop sign. Not one. When people were crossing they would stop for them, but not at the stop sign which makes it more of an adornment then a warning sign.
Why does it fail on so many levels? Just because you plopped down a stop sign don’t start patting yourself on the back for a job well done. It is not the end of your problem since all you’ve accomplished is to have given pedestrians a false sense of security. The Stop sign needs a little back up to make it effective in doing its job. A-There is no yellow stripping on the ground to indicate a crosswalk. That would help greatly to highlight it to an oncoming driver.
Yes they did a nice job painting the curb yellow – B but that doesn’t really help at all. What also doesn’t help is the large red ball, right next to the high red stop sign which draws the drivers eye away from the stop sign.
Placing a speed bump or two, C – will make sure cars do slow down when approaching the stop sign. One more speed bump in the crosswalk area would also help keep traffic to a lower speed.
Lastly, the stop sign itself D – is just to high up off the ground to really be seen by on coming drivers. There is also no other signage at all. No slow, speed limit or pedestrian crossing signs at all.
Overall it’s apparent that the mall operator is doing things on the cheap. If they were seriously concerned about safety, this would be a totally different picture. When ever you’re in a mall, strip mall or parking garage always be aware of your surroundings and don’t take anything for granted. Safety is just as much in your control as theirs.
My daughter has always been a competitor and never backed off a challenge, whether sports, work or school. She took her drivers license road test on her 16th birthday, even though we tried to dissuade her from the chance to ruin her birthday celebration. She wouldn’t hear it and then promptly aced the test. Now she’s facing one her toughest challenges, teaching children they do have a future, to believe in themselves and success can come with collaboration.
It’s a beautiful thing that is happening at the Evergreen School District in the city of San Jose, California and they have nothing to do with silicon chips or apps. Katherine R. Smith School is preparing 3rd graders for the future by teaching entrepreneurialism. Why not, small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970s. Last year, 340 of every 100,000 adults launched a business each month, creating 565,000 startups monthly.
As our society and the job market continually changes, forward thinking educators find ways for their students to succeed in that new world, so instead of just spoon feeding them bits of information alone, they are preparing them by showing how to think, form a plan, take ownership and present their ideas. By allowing them the opportunity to think of ideas that can be executed and achieved to build their confidence and entrepreneurial spirit you are creating thinkers, problem solvers, leaders and entrepreneurs that can discuss and resolve an issue. How cool is that?
The great thing, is you too can be part of this experience. Your knowledge, your skills and talents can help shape the future. Read the letter to the public below and if you have the time, be part of it. It’s been very rewarding for me.